NEWS

N.S. sleepwatching case nets 5 not-guilty verdicts

11/27/2012 02:51 EST | Updated 01/27/2013 05:12 EST
A Dartmouth, N.S., man accused of breaking into homes and watching women sleep in Halifax's south end has been found guilty of one count of breaking and entering, but Barry Sinclair was cleared of all other charges.

Sinclair, 50, was charged with two counts of breaking and entering and five counts of voyeurism. Judge Michael Wood delivered his ruling in Halifax provincial court Tuesday afternoon.

Sinclair was found guilty of one count of breaking and entering. In that case, his cellphone was found in a mop bucket in a woman's apartment.

While the judge accepted there was a second break-in, he questioned the evidence used to tie Sinclair to the crime.

A woman told court she woke to find a man in her bedroom, his mouth open as he stared at her. But the 22-year-old did not pick Sinclair when she examined a police lineup.

Wood acquitted Sinclair on two charges related to that break-in.

Cleared of voyeurism

Sinclair was also charged with voyeurism after Halifax Regional Police said they found a video in his dresser drawer showing women unaware they were being "watched" as they undressed.

The judge said whoever made the video is guilty, but Wood was not satisfied it was Sinclair.

Despite the not-guilty verdicts, the prosecution asked for a sex offender assessment before Sinclair is sentenced on the breaking and entering charge. Sinclair's lawyers opposed the move, saying the conviction has no sexual component.

Wood rejected the request, but did order a pre-sentence report.

Sinclair has been in police custody since his arrest in September 2011.

Prior to his arrest, more than a dozen women in Halifax's south end reported they woke up in their homes to find a man watching or touching them.

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