3.5-year jail sentence for ex-Vernon instructor convicted of intercourse crimes – Kelowna Capital Information
A Coldstream man will be behind bars for three and a half years for sexually abusing children.
Anoop Singh Klair was convicted on September 15 by BC Supreme Court Justice Murray Blok of three counts of sexually touching a person under the age of 14 and one case of sexual assault with a gun.
The crimes were committed against four children between the ages of nine and 13 about 20 years ago before he became a teacher.
Klair, now 40 years old, was between 19 and 23 years old at the time of the crime.
When asked if he had anything to say before he was sentenced, Klair did not apologize, but instead asked the judge to consider the impact of his decision on Klair’s family.
“I am the sole provider of my family. Your decision will not only affect me but also my daughter, my younger daughter and my wife, ”said Klair, who also mentioned that his eldest daughter is seeking counseling because of fear.
The Crown requested a five to seven year prison sentence, but Blok said while the circumstances of this case are grave, he admitted Klair’s last 18 years of pro-social life and considered his likelihood of relapse to be unlikely.
“He has suffered significant collateral damage,” Blok said of Klair as he lost his job, affected his family and was removed from his home while the Department of Children and Family Development investigates.
Blok also pointed to the “terrible toll” Klair’s actions tacitly caused on the four victims, who have suffered for years, until recently.
Loss of self-esteem, confidence, and trust in others were identified by the victims along with feelings of inadequacy, debilitating panic attacks, thoughts of suicide, and obsessive protection of their own children.
“The boogeyman not only haunted my nightmares for too long, but seeing him in person touched me deeply,” Crown Prosecutor Margaret Cissellon read a victim’s testimony in Vernon on September 10th.
“Exposing this type of abuse needs to be more mainstream in Punjabi culture.”
Born in India, Klair came to Canada when he was 13 when he was adopted by an extended family. His lawyer Nicholas Jacob previously described how Klair found it difficult to adapt, learn English, and be accepted.
He was working in a grocery store from the age of 16 until 2018 when these allegations emerged.
The former WL Seaton Secondary student earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Okanagan University College, where he also earned a teaching diploma. He worked as an on-call teacher in elementary schools for 10 years.
A psychological report produced last month found that Klair presented an average risk of relapse. Klair refused to discuss the evidence in question, likely on the advice of his lawyer.
Blok read part of the report that said, “Given that almost 18 years have passed, this man has the skills necessary to lead a nondescript lifestyle.”
Klair was found guilty in May of eight crimes related to incidents in Vernon between 1999 and 2003.
Klair was found guilty of sexual assault with a gun in one case, three cases of sexual assault, and four cases of sexual interference – one with a child under 16 and three with children under 14 – the defendant’s attorney on three charges sexual assault and one of the sexual interference charges.
Jacob also presented Blok with 41 letters supporting Klair as a kind, generous, responsible, and trustworthy man, worker, father, and husband.
“Some of the letters reflect disbelief about the guilty verdict,” Jacob said. “You find it incredible that he would behave like that.”
In addition to his sentence, Klair must give a DNA sample and register as a sex offender for life.
In addition, a ban on weapons and communication with the victims was issued.
Klair is also prohibited from being within 100 meters of any schools, workplaces, or places of worship that the victims visit for five years, and cannot seek work or volunteer work that would be trustworthy to anyone under the age of 16.
READ MORE: Former Vernon teacher faces up to seven years in prison for sex crimes against children
READ MORE: Alleged Victim Testifies About Sexual Assault In Trial Of Vernon Teachers
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