Crown counsel’s suggested sentence for a former West Kelowna teacher who pleaded guilty to having sexual relations with one of his students is “more fitting of manslaughter,” according to Bradley Furman’s defence lawyer.
Furman, a former Mount Boucherie Secondary School teacher, pursued a relationship with a 17-year-old Grade 12 student in 2018. During sentencing proceedings, which are still ongoing, defence counsel Claire Hatcher said Furman’s conduct was “illegal and inappropriate” but the Crown’s suggested sentence of 30 months for sexual exploitation accompanied by more time for several breaches of conditions was heavy-handed.
Hatcher argued a lighter 12 to 18 month sentence for the sexual exploitation would be in line with sentences given to other teachers who pursued sexual relationships with older students, adding “not even in Alberta,” do cases like this receive such harsh sentences.
According to Hatcher, Furman is a very good candidate for rehabilitation and is “by no means an unrepentant, evil predator who attacked a child.”
Crown’s total suggested sentence, including the nine breach of court order charges, is 71 months.
Hatcher will give her recommendations for Furman’s sentence regarding his breaches of court orders this afternoon.
Judge Clarke Burnett is not expected to pass a sentence during today’s proceedings.