Thursday, October 9, 1997

p. B8.

Suspended sentence for ex-school principal on sex and porn charges disappoints police

Vancouver city police are disappointed by the sentence given to a former Burnaby school principal who originally faced charges of obtaining sex from a person under the age of 18 and making pornographic material.

Both of those charges were stayed and Bennest, 53, pleaded guilty Friday to the lesser offence of possession of pornographic material and was given a two-year suspended sentence.

Crown counsel Austin Cullen said that "best captured" what Bennest had done and the prosecution did not believe the stayed charges could be proven.

But Vancouver police representative Constable Anne Drennan said that was disappointing to vice-squad officers who thought they had built a strong case against Bennest.

Bennest was arrested in September 1996 after police seized 43 video tapes and five audio cassettes and numerous photographs from his west-side Vancouver home. Bennest was a principal at Clinton elementary school in Burnaby.

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Created: October 9, 1997
Last modified: March 21, 1998

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