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Donnie Snook pleads guilty to child sex offences for incidents in Newfoundland

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

SAINT JOHN, N.B. - A former city councillor in Saint John, N.B., convicted of sexually abusing boys in the city has pleaded guilty to four other child sex offences in a separate case in western Newfoundland.

Donnie Snook pleaded guilty Thursday in New Brunswick provincial court to charges transferred from Newfoundland, including two counts of sexual assault and two counts of sexual interference.

Snook was charged earlier this year after police in Newfoundland alleged he committed the offences against one boy who was under the age of 14 at the time.

Investigators said the offences occurred between Dec. 1, 1995 and August of 1996 at or near Mount Moriah, N.L., and at or near Barachois Pond Provincial Park while Snook was working with the Salvation Army.

"Two charges of sexual interference, two charges of sexual assault, two different occasions, one victim," defence lawyer Dennis Boyle said outside the court.

Earlier, Boyle said he did not dispute the details of the charges as they were read in court.

The charges were transferred from Newfoundland to New Brunswick after Snook pleaded guilty in Saint John to 46 other charges including sexual assault and possessing, distributing and making child pornography over a 12-year period in Saint John.

Snook was sentenced last month to 18 years in prison.

But he is appealing the sentence, saying it is unreasonable and in excess of the appropriate range.

During his court appearance Thursday, Snook sat quietly, only responding with the word "yes" when Judge Alfred Brien asked if he was making his pleas voluntarily, and if he understood the charges.

Crown Prosecutor Karen Lee Lamrock told the court that the incidents in Newfoundland occurred at Snook's home and during a camping trip. She said that in both cases the boy was with Snook because of his role with the Salvation Army.

She said the victim has asked to submit a victim impact statement to the judge.

Boyle said the same pre-sentence report used during the Saint John case will be used for the Newfoundland charges.

"We accept that it be read into the case by the judge, the same as the psychological report," Boyle said. "Nothing is going to change on that, so we ask that the judge consider that background when he's coming to sentence."

The judge has set Dec. 17 as the date for sentencing.

Meanwhile, Snook will remain in custody at the Springhill Institution in Nova Scotia.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/the-canadian-press/131128/donnie-snook-plead-guilty-four-newfoundland-child-sex-offenc