Former Clearwater coach won’t testify in sex-crimes trial

Alan Davidson is on trial in Kamloops for indecent assault against seven teenaged boys decades ago.

  • Thu Sep 28th, 2017 3:03pm
  • News

– Kamloops this Week

A man accused of indecent assault against seven teenaged boys decades ago will not take the stand in his own defence.

Both the Crown and defence closed their cases Wednesday afternoon in the trial of Alan Davidson. The day began with B.C. Supreme Court Justice Sheri Donegan ruling a videotaped confession Davidson gave to police in 2014 when he was arrested can be used as evidence in the trial.

Seven teenage complainants have testified against Davidson, who was a hockey and baseball coach in Clearwater, as well as an auxiliary RCMP member, in the late 1970s and early 1980s. About half were under the age — 14 years at the time — of consent when the incidents are alleged to have occurred.

Davidson later became a full-fledged member of the RCMP, serving in Saskatchewan. He is also charged with sexual offences from his time in the Prairie province.

More than eight hours of videotape were played in court last week as Sgt. Darren Carr cajoled Davidson into unburdening himself to police after his arrest in 2014. A lawyer had already told Davidson to not say anything.

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Defence lawyer John Gustafson argued unsuccessfully the confession should not be allowed as evidence due to police tactics.

Carr testified police who arrested Davidson used a number of scenarios in an attempt to find out what occurred during the sports and camping outings.

Those scenarios included discussion of former NHLer Sheldon Kennedy’s stories of abuse at the hands of major-junior hockey coach Graham James. Carr also spoke with Davidson over the eight hours using the “conscience-based theme,” which involved telling the accused, police had an overwhelming amount of evidence and then encouraging the interviewee to unburden himself to clear his conscience.

Gustafson noted the number of times during the interview when Davidson told Carr that his lawyer instructed him not to speak, as well as when he was not responsive and expressed tiredness.

But Carr said Davidson, a former police officer and a sheriff at the time of arrest, was aware.

“I had no concerns with Mr. Davidson’s operating mind,” Carr said. “This is someone who is sophisticated — at that time, he was a serving peace officer.”

The defence and Crown are scheduled to make final arguments Thursday in the trial that began on Sept. 11.