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UPDATED: Man facing child porn charges arrested near Halifax school – Halifax

HALIFAX – A Halifax man already facing child pornography charges was arrested Monday for allegedly breaching a court order to stay away from school grounds.

Police say Robert William Harris, 47, was spotted near Burton Ettinger Elementary School in Fairview on Friday.

Further investigation revealed Harris had been walking his dog Friday afternoon on Alex Street directly in front of the school.

He was charged with breach of recognizance.

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Halifax Region School Board spokesperson Doug Hadley said there is no evidence to suggest Harris approached or spoke to any of the children who were nearby, but “the mere thought of it would cause a lot of people concern.”

The school board spoke to students at the school about the incident, and informed parents and guardians.

Const. Pierre Bourdages, a spokesperson for the Halifax Regional Police, said although conditions are put in place, police can’t monitor people 24-7.

“They’re put under these conditions to prevent them from re-offending or prevent any further harm from potential victims,” he said.

Harris is a music therapy teacher who specializes in teaching children, people with autism, and people with mental and physical disabilities.

He was arrested in February and charged with making available, accessing and possessing child pornography.

Police said at the time none of the pornography appeared to have been produced locally.

Harris was later released on a recognizance and placed under conditions that included no communication with children under 16 years old and not to be at any daycare, school ground, playground or community centre.

Creative Expressions Music Therapy/Facebook

Parents of students at the school said the news was shocking to them.

“Somebody with that kind of background usually doesn’t stop and  I would hate to have that happen around here,” said Al Singer, who has a 7-year-old grandchild that attends the school.

Evelyn Conrad, who lives across the street, has a child who attends the school.

“I’m quite concerned. I don’t even trust my kids outside without me, because I’m afraid of all these predators that go around,” she said.

Court documents indicate that Harris lives in the same neighbourhood as the school, something police say they have no control over.

“As long as they respect the conditions imposed by the courts there’s nothing preventing them from living wherever they want,” said Bourdages.

With files from Natasha Pace

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