The doctrine of "innocent possession" is a potential defence to possession of child pornography. The doctrine is a "public duty defence" which permits possession for lawful purposes such as delivering it to authorities. It also excuses possession where it is for the sole purpose of immediately destroying the materials or placing them beyond his control.
By establishing this limited intention, there will be an absence of a blameworthy state of mind or blameworthy conduct. Mere technical findings of knowledge and control should not constitute possession.
Innocent possession will generally not apply where the created and access dates of the deleted files show evidence that the user knowingly storing the files for a period of time before deleting them. Further evidence of selective deleting of files shows an intent to sort rather than destroy.
R v Loukas, 2006 ONCJ 219 (CanLII),  O.J. No. 2405 (Ont. C.J.) per Green J. - discussing drug possession
R v Chalk, 2007 ONCA 815 (CanLII) at para 24
- R v Braudy 2009 CanLII 2491 (ON SC) at para 92 citing Chalk, at para 23
- R v Chalk, 2007 ONCA 815 (CanLII), 227 CCC (3d) 141 at 24
- See e.g. Braudy at para 93 and 94