James Hubert Douglas Harper

Convicted sex offender accused of being near school

Convicted sex offender accused of being near school

Christopher Gooding cgooding@citizenrecord.ca 
Published on March 30, 2016 

Amherst court news

AMHERST – A 35 year-old Amherst man convicted of possessing over 100 images of child pornography in 2011 is out on bail after recent allegations he breached two orders to stay away from places where children would be present, including a school.

James Hubert Douglas Harper appeared in custody in Amherst Provincial Court on Tuesday accused of breaching an undertaking to not be within 100-metres from any school on March 29, 2016, in Amherst.

The allegation comes a little more than a month after he was arrested for breaching a similar order.

Harper was accused of breaching a probation order Feb. 16, 2016, in Amherst, to not attend any public park, daycare centre, school, community centre or public swimming area where children would reasonable be present.

He last appeared in court on that matter on March 7.

Now he will return to court April 4 to answer to both charges against him.


Registered sex offender

Harper was registered as a sex offender in 2011 when he was sentenced in Dartmouth provincial court to six-months in jail for possessing child pornography. Following a complaint from a Halifax woman police discovered 250 photos of scantily dressed little girls in provocative poses and another 100 images of child pornography Harper had downloaded off the Internet onto his computer.

At the time, Harper had been running an advertisement on Kijiji seeking girls between the ages of four and nine for fashion photo sessions at a Burnside Park studio. The Halifax woman responded to the ad and notified police of her suspicion when Harper asked her seven-year-old daughter not to wear panties under her leotards. Harper was later arrested at his apartment in Amherst.

After his release from jail Harper began a 10-year period where he is required to stay away from parks, playgrounds, schools and places where children could be present. During this time he is also prohibited him from doing any work that would put him in a position of authority over children and from using a computer to communicate with minors.


Imagine no courtrooms

A review of the transcript from Harper’s March 7 appearance in court – two days revealed Harper represented himself, asking the presiding judge to provide his statement of oath and for the members of the court to identify themselves.

As the matter was being adjourned until April 4, Harper asked the judge where he was to go if the courtroom and the building it sits in no longer existed by the time of his next court appearance.

The judge directed Harper to get legal council and return to court April 4.