A 53-year-old man who was tackled and detained by about 10 people after he was caught secretly videoing a woman peeing in a BCIT women’s washroom nearly five years ago has been handed a two-year conditional sentence and two years of probation.
Jay Winship Forster was in Vancouver provincial court last week to plead guilty to one count of voyeurism and two counts of possession of child pornography.
Forster was discovered in a cubicle in a third floor washroom at BCIT's Burnaby campus by a woman using the cubicle next to him, according to Crown prosecutor Jason Krupa.
“She saw the camera; she screamed and yelled,” said Krupa, outlining the agreed facts in the case. “He withdrew, took off. She chased him. He pushed her out of the way.”
Before Forster could escape, however, Krupa said about 10 people tackled him and held him till police arrived.
When police searched Forster’s phone, they discovered images of the woman who had caught him in the act, as well as videos of “a few other people,” according to Krupa.
A further search also revealed 364 child sex abuse images, including images of girls as young as six engaged in sex acts.
“Very problematic,” Krupa said.
Forster, who was 42 at the time of the incident, was charged with voyeurism, assault and possession of child pornography in July 2019.
A second secret phone
One of the conditions of his bail on those charges was a ban on having more than one cell phone.
About a year later, however, his common law partner discovered he had two cell phones and found child sex abuse images on the second, secret phone, according to Krupa.
“(She) essentially marched him down to the police station, and he turned himself in,” he said.
Forster was charged with two more counts of possessing child pornography in October 2020.
Explaining why it’s taken nearly five years to deal with the BCIT charges, Krupa pointed to two psychological reports ordered in the case.
The first found no evidence of “significant or even noticeable mental illness,” according to Krupa, but the second one did.
Krupa noted Forster had been committed under the Mental Health Act for a time, receiving “weeks” of treatments, and now sees a psychiatrist regularly.
“This man is suffering from a significant mental illness,” Krupa said. “It’s documented, and, in my submission, putting him in jail would simply likely lead him to decompensate and not be in the public interest.”
Banned from BCIT and UBC campuses
In a joint sentencing submission, Krupa and defence lawyer Brian Coleman called for a conditional sentence (a jail sentence served in the community) and probation.
Judge Gregory Rideout agreed.
During the first six months of his two-year sentence, he will be under house arrest, followed by a-year-and-a-half under a curfew.
He is banned from the BCIT and UBC campuses and from parks, schools and anywhere else children under the age of 16 are likely to be.
He is also prohibited from possessing any device capable of recording and will have his phone and internet access restricted.
And he will be placed on the national sex offender registry for 10 years.
This isn’t the first time Forster has been sentenced for voyeurism.
In 2013, he was granted a conditional discharge after pleading guilty to one count of secretly observing or recording nudity in a women’s changeroom at UBC in the fall of 2012.