PICTOU – Judge Patrick H. Curran has found former Stellarton police Sgt. Paul Cameron guilty on the charge of assault against Robert Kenny and not guilty of mischief.
"This was a case of bad judgment in a bad situation," Curran stated. "It was bound to end bad as well."
The sentence from Judge Curran was an absolute discharge for Cameron, which means that though he was found guilty, he has no criminal record.
“I see no need [for Cameron] to meet with a probation officer,” says Curran. “Let’s deal with this today.”
This was met with the approval of both the crown and the defense attorneys.
He was found not guilty of mischief because the judge said he had not willfully or intentionally destroyed Kenny's property (a personal computer).
Judge Curran went through the events of the early morning on Feb. 13 when then Sgt. Cameron went to Kenny’s home to find his 13-year-old niece. He offered his conclusions throughout the narrative.
“Sgt. Cameron didn’t know the computer was on the floor,” said Curran. “Although he damaged the property, he didn’t do so willing.” The judge then stated his ruling of ‘not guilty’ to the mischief charge.
When the assault charge was discussed, Curran says that when Cameron entered Kenny’s home on a personal mission, he lost sight of his duties as a police officer and instead became an ordinary citizen.
“Cameron forgot which role he was playing. He was not acting as a police officer that night. He was in uniform but not acting under its authority.”
With this in mind, the judge says Cameron was a guest in Kenny’s home and shouldhave taken his niece and left the property as soon as possible.
Curran didn’t mince words when it came to Kenny however. “Kenny is a shiftless person who handles drugs and drug paraphernalia with teenage girls. My sympathies are more with Sgt. Cameron than Mr. Kenny.”
Cameron, however, has hung up his police uniform for good.
“I’ve been a police officer for 12 years,” he says. “I’m not going to knock the court system or the judge.”
He has just completed his first semester of nursing at St. Francis Xavier and plans to pursue a career in nursing.
He believes that the case went this far because of politics and bitter rivalries. “The charge isn’t the only thing to make me change my career,” he says. “It’s the lack of integrity of the police agencies in this county and I don’t want to be associated with them.”
He says it’s left a bad taste in his mouth.
"I'm just happy it's over," says Cameron. "The support I've received from the citizens of Pictou County has been overwhelming."