November 19, 2013 - 11:29 AM
PENTICTON - A Supreme court justice agrees David Wesley Bobbitt should be sentenced in Penticton but the convicted sex offender can be transferred to Kelowna if security is in danger of being compromised.
Sheriff Staff Sgt. Tracey Biro said he was obligated to tell the court his security and safety concerns earlier this month. Crown and defence pointed out Bobbitt needs to be sentenced in Penticton.
Justice Geoff Barrow spoke with Biro, defence lawyer James Pennington and Crown prosecutor Deb Drissell today by phone in courtroom 201, the same room where Bobbitt will face a four-week dangerous offender and sentencing hearing in 2014.
Barrow knows how upset the public is with Bobbitt. During the first court sessions the man made threats against people in the gallery and was in turn threatened. He eventually pleaded guilty to several violent crimes including aggravated sexual assault and confinement he committed in the summer of 2011.
"This case has incited high emotions," Barrow said. He added he would not hestitate to move the case to Kelowna if the Penticton situation becomes volatile.
Bobbitt can be confined to courtroom 100 where there's direct access to the holding area but Biro nixed that idea. Having room 100 booked for Bobbitt for a month will mean walking prisoners through public halls to other court rooms.
The sheriff said a gate will be placed in the hall leading to room 201 to control access. He is also prepared to prevent the public from approaching the fenced outdoor garage where Bobbitt will be walked from a vehicle into the courthouse.
Biro hopes to have three more staff called in for the month of June. There are five sheriff staff now but they have other duties to perform in other court rooms and are involved with the transportation of prisoners and meeting the needs of six RCMP detachments.
To contact a reporter for this story, to send photos or videos, email Shannon Quesnel at firstname.lastname@example.org, call 250-488-3065, send tweets to @shannonquesnel1 or @InfoNewsPentict.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013