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TORONTO - A former police officer who has repeatedly refused to participate in a public inquiry into a sexual abuse probe that he helped spark was sentenced to another 30 days in jail Wednesday for criminal contempt of court.
Perry Dunlop has already spent six months in jail for civil contempt of court because of his unwillingness to give evidence at an inquiry probing the institutional response to allegations a sexual abuse ring was operating in the Cornwall, Ont., area.
The 46-year-old was scheduled to be released Thursday on the civil conviction, but had yet to be sentenced on a criminal contempt conviction stemming from his refusal of a judge's order to appear at the inquiry.
Crown attorney David Humphrey told the court it could not ignore Dunlop's disregard of a judge's order.
''It would be sending the wrong message to impose no jail time,'' said Humphrey.
Divisional Court Justices Lee Ferrier and Katherine Swinton agreed, but imposed a sentence shorter than the three to six month term the Crown had requested.
Dunlop's decision to ''orchestrate'' his arrest at his home in Duncan, B.C., on Feb. 17 to ensure maximum publicity, played a role in the his conviction for criminal contempt, as well as his 30-day sentence, Swinton told the court.
The fact that Dunlop has been segregated from other inmates because he is a former police officer and enjoys less freedom as a result played a part in the length of the term, Swinton added.
Dunlop was also credited for time spent in custody prior to sentencing on his civil contempt of court charge.
He told the court he meant no disrespect by ignoring the judge's order and only had issue with the Cornwall Public Inquiry.
Had Dunlop reversed his decision while serving time on the civil contempt conviction and agreed to give evidence at the inquiry, he could have been released.
That is no longer the case with the criminal conviction and he will serve the full term regardless, the court heard.
Dunlop, who represented himself at the sentencing hearing, told the court he ''hadn't touched grass in months'' and used words like ''humiliation'' to describe his life in prison.
''It has taken all of my life skills to endure this journey,'' he added.
What Dunlop described was ''what jail is about,'' Humphrey told the court.
''(Jail) is hard. There's a loss of liberty.''
The difference between Dunlop an other prisoners is that he controlled his own destiny, Humphrey added.
Dunlop's wife Helen took the stand to describe to the court the impact her husband's incarceration has had on their family.
There's no purpose in keeping her husband locked up, she said.
''In my heart I don't believe justice is served by putting that man back behind bars,'' she said pointing at Dunlop while holding back tears.
Dunlop began looking into an alleged pedophile ring that supposedly involved senior civic officials, clergymen and police officers on his own time in 1993.
A provincial police investigation led to 114 charges against 15 men, but resulted in only one conviction.
Despite Dunlop's vehement claims, ''Project Truth'' found no evidence of an organized sex abuse ring.
He has repeatedly maintained that he won't testify at the public inquiry because he has no faith in the justice system.
Outside the court, Helen Dunlop said she had hoped her husband would be coming home.
''My reaction is ... it's mixed to be honest with you,'' she told reporters.
''It's been 200 days of jail time for a decorated police officer who stood to the plate, followed legislated law in this country to protect children.''
Dunlop will spend the next 30 days at the same Ottawa detention centre he's called home for the last six months before his release on Oct. 4.

Story From: The Canadian Press
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