POLITICS

Case of man accused of breaking publication ban in sex assault case adjourned

11/04/2014 11:09 EST | Updated 01/04/2015 05:59 EST
HALIFAX - The case of a man charged with violating a publication ban in a sexual assault trial in Halifax has been adjourned until Dec. 11.

David Winslow Sparks, who did not appear in provincial court Tuesday, was charged in September after police alleged he posted on social media the name of the victim in the case.

The identity of the victim was protected by a publication ban after a sexual assault charge was filed against defence lawyer Lyle Howe, who was sentenced to three years in prison in July after being found guilty by a jury of sexually assaulting a 19-year-old woman in March 2011.

Howe's lawyer has filed an appeal in that case.

Outside court Tuesday, Sparks's lawyer said she has received the Crown's disclosure but has yet to read it.

"It's kind of an interesting charge. If you look on the Internet you see breaches of publication bans all the time," said Laura McCarthy, who is also Howe's wife.

"The publicity of Mr. Howe's matter is likely what gave rise to this having so much attention."

As to the nature of the alleged online breach, McCarthy said: "I believe it was a post on Facebook. ... I believe that it was reposted by many other individuals in different forms. It kind of leaves the question in my mind about whether those are also breaches of the publication ban."

McCarthy said she hasn't read the post and it has been taken down.

She also said she doesn't believe her role representing Sparks is a conflict because the charge does not relate directly to Howe's case.

"What Mr. Sparks is alleged to have done doesn't relate at all to Mr. Howe's case," she said. "It simply arises from an order that arose out of Mr. Howe's case."

Sparks, 62, has not entered a plea.