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Dekker sentenced in bathroom voyeur case

Posted on March 19, 2014 by Taber Times

A Burdett man who pled guilty to a charge of voyeurism last fall was sentenced to a nine-month conditional sentence order followed by two years of probation in Taber provincial court yesterday.

The charge against 56-year-old Frederik J. Dekker stemmed from an incident at a Taber convenience store on Feb. 1, 2013 where a concealed camera was discovered.

A constable with the Taber Police Service was called by staff at the store, after a female patron located the device in the bathroom. After it was turned over to police, the SD card inside the camera was found to have nude bathroom images and video of unidentified children, men and women in at least three other public bathrooms in the area.

Police then released an image of the man, also found on the SD card, which showed Dekker placing the camera in a bathroom. Anonymous tips led police to execute a search warrant on his property on April 17, 2013 as other evidence was seized, which included the T-shirt Dekker was wearing in the photo of himself found on the memory card.

Dekker originally pled guilty to the voyeurism charge in September 2013, at which point Judge D.G. Redman ordered an adjournment in order for a pre-sentence report and psychiatric assessment to be prepared.

In Taber provincial court on Jan. 28, the accused was present for a sentencing hearing which involved submissions from special Crown prosecutor Jennifer Rees and defence attorney Balfour Der. In her sentencing recommendation, Rees had argued the accused warranted a one year conditional sentence order followed by a lengthy period of probation, while Dekker’s defence counsel Balfour Der suggested a less stringent suspended sentence would be a more effective deterrent.

According to facts read into court on Jan. 28, at least 83 people, including eight children, were found to have been recorded by Dekker on 77 video clips at five different locations, totalling 251 minutes of video.

Prior to adjournment on Jan. 28, the accused, a farmer and father of five, was afforded a chance to address the court.

“I would like to publicly apologize for my actions, and my choices. I would also like to apologize to the people of my community. This was reprehensible behaviour that I have no excuses for. This is never going to happen again.”

Judge Redman reserved his decision after the sentencing hearing on Jan. 28, adjourning the case to March 11.

Prior to rendering a judgement yesterday, Redman accepted the accused had not targeted individuals based on sex or age, but that he knew what he was doing was wrong.

“There was a degree of planning and premeditation. I accept that he did not target individual persons, or a particular age. (But) He knew that what he was doing was wrong. I further note that Mr. Dekker did not stop until he was caught.”

Redman also indicated a suspended sentence, argued for by the defence, did not meet the principles of denunciation and deterrence, and opted instead for a conditional sentence order (CSO).

Dekker will be subject to full house arrest during the first four months of his CSO, followed by a further five months in which he will be subject to a curfew between the hours of 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. The accused will also be prohibited from possession of any device capable of capturing digital images, with the exception of a cellphone. Judge Redman also issued a $100 victim-fine surcharge.  

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