Former publisher pleads guilty

Kirkwood agrees to plea deal, to be sentenced later

Al Kirkwood was formerly the Barriere fire chief as well as publisher of the Clearwater Times and Barriere Star/Journal.

Tim Petruk – KTW

The former fire chief of Barriere has admitted he was in possession of child pornography last October when police seized computers from his home and offices.

Al Kirkwood pleaded guilty in Kamloops provincial court on Monday to possession of child pornography.

The 62-year-old, who had been Barriere’s fire chief prior to his arrest on Oct. 4, said nothing during the brief hearing, during which his lawyer, Michael Shapray, entered the plea on Kirkwood’s behalf.

Kirkwood, who had also served as the publisher of the North Thompson Star Journal and the Clearwater Times newspapers, agreed to a plea deal in which the Crown will proceed summarily, meaning the maximum sentence drops to two years in prison from 10 years and the minimum sentence is reduced to six months in prison from one year.

At the time of Kirkwood’s arrest, police said they executed four search warrants. Kirkwood had also been charged with a count of importing child pornography, but that allegation is expected to be stayed by the Crown after sentencing.

Police said the investigation into Kirkwood’s activities began in August after the RCMP received information from U.S. law enforcement officials. Mounties said there is nothing to indicate local children were “directly victimized by the accused.”

Kirkwood resigned from his post as Barriere’s fire chief on Oct. 7 after more than 20 years in the position. Black Press, which owns the newspapers he published, has said Kirkwood is no longer a company employee.

Lawyers are expected to meet on July 24 to set a date for Kirkwood’s sentencing. In the meantime, he will meet with officials to undergo a court-ordered psychological evaluation.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Community Foundation wants charities to apply for emergency funding

The $350 million emergency funding was created to help vulnerable populations during COVID-19

Back in Time

Historical Perspective

High water and flooding hits Clearwater

Potential for roadblock on Clearwater Valley Road due to potential washouts

Tk’emlups, Simpcw First Nations chiefs call on Tiny House Warriors to leave Blue River protest camp

“The Tiny House Warriors are not from Simpcw, nor are they our guests in our territory.”

TOTA recognized as Safe Travel Destination

Announcement confirms successful effort by communities to follow new health guidelines

B.C. accommodators need phone lines to light up as in-province travel given green light

Travel restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic have decimated the tourism and hospitality industries

B.C. extends income assistance exemption for COVID-19

Provincial program to match Ottawa’s CERB, student pay

Broadway veteran Nick Cordero dies from coronavirus complications

During Cordero’s hospitalization, Kloots sent him daily videos of her and their 1-year-old son, Elvis,

Northern communities welcome tourists as province opens to in-B.C. travellers

Officials have asked British Columbians to be careful as they travel this summer

300 Cache Creek residents on evacuation alert due to flood risk as river rises

Heavy rainfall on Canada Day has river rising steadily, threatening 175 properties

First glimpse of Canada’s true COVID-19 infection rate expected mid-July

At least 105,000 Canadians have tested positive for COVID-19 since the coronavirus was identified

Police ramp up efforts to get impaired drivers off B.C. roads this summer

July is dedicated to the Summer CounterAttack Impaired Driving Campaign

Most Read