Michael robert hall

By James Turner, Winnipeg Sun - July 18, 2012

A former Winnipeg police officer offered a lengthy apology in court Wednesday — right before he was ordered off to jail for possessing child pornography.

“I stand here in front of you ashamed, disgusted and remorseful and full of guilt,” a visibly shaken Michael Robert Hall, 31, told provincial court Judge Sandra Chapman. “I feel disgusted and ashamed to have been part of such a sickening crime that robs these kids of their innocence and affects them negatively for their entire lifetime.”

Chapman ordered Hall to serve the legislated mandatory minimum of 14 days in jail.

He was granted permission to do his time on weekends and will also serve 18 months of supervised probation.

The Crown sought 90 days jail in the case.

Hall was arrested last July following a lengthy internal police investigation based on a tip he had accessed a Yahoo.com group ‘Perv’s Dream,’ where users would share uploaded photos, some of which were child pornography, independent Crown prosecutor Rob Gosman said.

Hall’s home was raided on June 9, 2011, and computers and electronics were seized. Hall turned in his badge at the St. James police station the next day.

Cops in the Internet Child Exploitation Unit ultimately found 19 illegal images of girls aged 4-12 years old on his computer.

Four of the pictures depicted the children engaged in degrading sex acts with adult men, including one of a girl between the ages of six and eight being anally raped, court was told. In addition to the illegal images, investigators also found more than 3,300 pictures of kids modelling and posing, Gosman said.

“There was an awful lot of stuff involving young girls,” he said.

After his arrest, Hall immediately entered intensive therapy and was assessed by a respected psychiatrist as a low risk to re-offend.

Hall was not diagnosed as a pedophile, defence lawyer Saheel Zaman said.

“What you’re dealing with in this case is a porn addiction gone astray,” said Zaman, as part of a lengthy submission in hopes of Hall receiving no more than the absolute minimum possible jail term.

Hall served with the Winnipeg police for two to three years prior to retiring.