(This column was published in the North Shore News on July 22, 1998)


Citizen fights to right system's wrongs

By Leo Knight

AS weeks go, the last one was rainier than should be this time of year. But it was more interesting than most in a host of ways.  


In a blatant display of where the attorney general's priorities lie, he has decreed his office will appeal the decision by a New Westminster Justice of the Peace ruling photo radar is unconstitutional in the way it is applied and enforced in this province.  


Wasn't it only last February when Ujjal Dosanjh played out the final card in the charade of Regina vs William Bennest?  


Bennest, the convicted pedophile who earned his daily crust as an elementary school principal, waltzed through the criminal justice system last October with barely a blemish on his record and a minor stinging on his wrists. The resulting outcry forced the apparently unwilling AG to announce an appeal of the sentence given to Bennest. The sentence, mind you, not a review of how the whole disgusting situation came about.  


But just two weeks later, as the Director of Criminal Appeals, Bob Wright, was diligently writing and researching the legal brief for the appeal, Dosanjh appointed former Supreme Court Justice Josiah Wood to review and report to him on the chances of success for such an appeal.  


Wood reported back to the AG on Feb. 12 in a 400-word letter dismissing all the hard work and lengthy arguments presented by Wright.  


No reasons. No analysis. None of that trite legal stuff, just a simple few phrases saying, "sorry, it won't work."  


With that, Dosanjh stopped the appeal in its tracks.  


The question hung in the air like a dirigible. Why not simply let the courts decide on the appeal?  


Why indeed? The issue of an elementary school principal messing around with 12-year-old boys under his care is one that offended even the most jaded watchers of the justice system.  


That case came to the attention of Doug Stead. A man who had already felt the frustration of a justice system unwilling to prosecute another individual who had been accused of interfering with young children. In that case, it was a family member of Stead's who was allegedly victimized by Dr. John Gossage, then a New Westminster pediatrician.  


Stead battled, screamed and protested to no avail with an uncaring system. Despite dozens of complaints from a variety of victims, Gossage was never charged criminally. But he was found guilty of professional misconduct by the College of Physicians and Surgeons.  


Stead was left frustrated, angry and wanting vengeance.  


Along came a photo radar ticket in the mail and Stead got his chance to stick it in the eye of the attorney general, the office who denied justice to Stead and his family.  


He fought the photo radar ticket and had the method of delivering tickets declared unconstitutional. He used the system that protected an alleged pedophile to protect all of us from the dirty, money grubbing hands of the NDP.  


How did Dosanjh respond? Appeal that decision, he ordered. Not now, but right now. Did he hire a former Supreme Court Justice to review the chances of a successful appeal?  


Hardly, Marge! Damn the torpedoes and full speed ahead with the appeal.  


So, let me see if I have this right. A homosexual pedophile is the principal of an elementary school and has designs on a 12-year-old male student.  


He takes pictures of that boy and superimposes the images of another underage male prostitute engaged in sexual acts with the principal, along with the student.  


He is ultimately charged with a number of crimes involving sex and children -- young boys.  


Yet, he is let off in a plea bargain arrangement and sees not one day in jail. No public retribution for his disgraceful and disgusting acts. Nothing for his outrageous breach of trust.  


But the AG ensures no appeal is ever launched despite the public demand for justice.  


He hides behind the innocuous and specious Wood report, but the truth is he demonstrated no apparent stomach for the appeal. What, pray tell me, could he have been afraid of?  


Now fast forward to Stead's photo radar case. Dosanjh and the rest of his morally-challenged government is faced with the loss of a projected $100 million in revenue from the blatant money grab which is photo radar, and it's all hands to the pumps in mounting the appeal.  


Doug Stead is revelling in the situation he has found himself in. He is a successful businessman with his hi-tech firm Tri-M Systems in Coquitlam. He can certainly afford the $172 speeding ticket.  


But he's in this for the long haul. The little guy is fighting the system and if there's a God in heaven, he'll bring the NDP to its knees.  


Here's a quick message to Gordon Campbell and his less than effective opposition: get on this bandwagon quick.  


Stead has asked me to pass on this offer for the reader. If anyone has any information that could lead to the arrest and conviction of a politician, doctor, lawyer or judge on charges of pedophilia, he'll personally give a cheque for $10,000 to the whistleblower.  


Ten thousand bucks to out a kiddie diddler. Not bad.  


I will personally guarantee absolute confidentiality to anyone who comes to me with information. My email address is listed below or call me at the North Shore News. Doug Stead's email is dstead@dowco.com  


It's time these leeches were shown up for what they are. Are you listening Premier Clark? Pay attention Mr. Dosanjh. The little guy is getting mad.





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