Crown appeal results in jail time for two men convicted of beating Kamloops Mountie

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KAMLOOPS - Two men convicted of assaulting a Kamloops cop and leaving him unconscious on the side of the road will now serve time behind bars after Crown won its appeal of their sentences.

Leon Leclerc, 47, and Jerry Lamar, 52, were originally given conditional sentence orders with lengthy house arrest periods for assaulting Kamloops RCMP Cst. Paul Koester and leaving him alone on a rural road near Pritchard until passers by stopped to help.

Kamloops Supreme Court judge Dev Dley originally sentenced Lamar and Leclerc earlier this year, condemning their actions by calling them a "couple of cowardly bullies flexing their muscles as back alley thugs," but sided with the defence in giving them a conditional sentence order.

Both Lamar and Leclerc were given two-year conditional sentence orders, most of which came with a period of house arrest. But Crown counsel spokesperson Dan McLaughlin says since Crown won its appeal on the sentences, Lamar will spend 12 months behind bars and Leclerc will spend 15 months behind bars.

They'll both have to serve a probationary period after their releases.

Lamar and Leclerc pleaded guilty to assaulting a peace officer last year. The beating happened in Pritchard on July 5, 2014 and the event was caught on Koester's dashcam and the footage was previously played in court.

Lamar was driving a truck with a trailer attached and Leclerc was a passenger. Koester pulled the vehicle over for having expired insurance on the trailer and began an impaired driving investigation after speaking to Lamar.

Things escalated between Koester and Lamar, to the point where the officer had to chase the driver around the vehicle and deploy his pepper spray. At one point Lamar got on top of Koester and began delivering blows, when Koester appeared to reach for his firearm.

Lamar yelled something like 'Leon, gun!' and Leclerc began kicking and stomping Koester's shoulder. One kick indirectly hit Koester in the head, knocking him unconscious.

The pair hopped in Lamar's vehicle and fled, leaving Koester alone on the side of the road, knocked out until a passerby stopped to help.

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