KAMLOOPS - Crown counsel has filed an appeal of the sentences for two men convicted of knocking a Mountie unconscious on a side road outside of Kamloops in 2014.
Jerry Lamar, 52, and Leon Leclerc, 47, pleaded guilty last year to one count each of assaulting a peace officer.
Crown prosecutors Frank Caputo and Joel Gold sought a prison sentence for the men but Kamloops Supreme Court judge Dev Dley sentenced them to a strict house arrest order. He said the conditional sentence order was meant to be punitive and act as a jail sentence.
Defence lawyer Jeremy Jensen filed an application in Kamloops Supreme Court today, March 14, to add an exception to Leclerc's conditional sentence order. He asked Dley to consider adding an exception to the house arrest term which would allow Leclerc to meet with his lawyer after a court appearance.
Gold was not opposed to the application, but that wasn't enough for Dley.
"The purpose of the conditional sentence order was meant to be punitive," Dley said.
He said if Leclerc was incarcerated, he wouldn't be able to leave prison to meet with his lawyer. Jensen said a conditional sentence order is different from prison and since Leclerc lives about one hour away from Kamloops, it's hard for Jensen to meet with him at his home, but Dley remained opposed to the application.
"I'm not going to grant the application... a conditional sentence order is in fact a jail sentence," Dley said. "In this case, the prison is his home."
Crown counsel spokesperson Dan McLaughlin says a notice of appeal was filed on Feb. 22 in relation to the sentences of Lamar and Leclerc. He says a tentative appeal hearing date has been scheduled for May 26.
Lamar and Leclerc were handed two-year conditional sentence orders earlier this year, most of which will be served as house arrest.
This came after court hearings where dashcam footage of the assault against Const. Paul Koester was shown. The video showed Lamar being pulled over near Pritchard for having expired insurance on his trailer.
Court heard Koester smelled alcohol after checking out Lamar's vehicle and launched an impaired driving investigation.
Leclerc is seen in the video slowly approaching Lamar and Koester from about 30 to 40 feet away. Koester had asked Leclerc to back off, and Lamar became confrontational in response.
Lamar started to run away from Koester, so the officer deployed his pepper spray in response. At some point Lamar suffered a blow to the back of the head and Koester ran after him to the side of Lamar's vehicle.
Eventually Lamar got on top of Koester and delivered multiple blows. Court heard Koester reached for his firearm, which is when Lamar yelled to Leclerc what sounded like "Leon, gun."
Leclerc kicked and stomped on Koester's shoulder, with one blow indirectly hitting Koester in the head, knocking him unconscious. The pair hopped in Lamar's vehicle and fled the scene, leaving Koester unconscious on the side of a rural road until a passerby spotted him and tended to his injuries.
Lamar also left behind his driver's licence which was on the hood of Koester's cruiser. Crown asked for Lamar to be imprisoned for nine to 12 months and asked for an 18-month prison sentence for Leclerc.
Lamar will spend the first seven months on strict house arrest, only allowed to leave his home for one hour per day. One day a week he can be accompanied by his mother to do necessary things like grocery shopping. For the following eight months of his house arrest, he will be able to leave his home for work. Lamar's lawyer sought clarification at that hearing, and asked if Lamar was permitted to chop and collect wood for a wood burning-appliance. Dley said no.
For Leclerc's 18-month house arrest, he won't be able to leave his home for the first nine months. Both men will have to abide by a probation order for two years after their conditional sentence orders finish.
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