Defence lawyer removes himself from Penticton arson case | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Defence lawyer removes himself from Penticton arson case

Sydney Leer, facing sentencing for this townhouse fire in October, 2016, will be expected to come before court with a new lawyer after dismissing her counsel at a court hearing this afternoon, May 5, 2017.
May 05, 2017 - 5:16 PM

PENTICTON - The sentencing hearing for a woman accused of setting fire to a four-unit townhouse complex in Penticton took a big step backward today.

Sydney Leer, 18, pleaded guilty to one count of arson damaging property on March 6.

Leer appeared via video today, May 5, in Penticton court in what was supposed to be a sentencing hearing when defence lawyer Norm Yates announced his intention to remove himself from the case.

Yates said he was “compelled” to do so after his client lost confidence in him. Both he and his client are citing irreconcilable differences.

He apologized to the court for the late stage of his removal as council, adding the decision only recently became apparent.

Judge Gregory Koturbash adjourned the case to Wednesday, May 10, at which time Leer is expected to confirm new counsel.

Leer faced sentencing on one count of arson related to the Oct. 13, 2016 incident in which four units of a townhouse at 1458 Penticton Ave. were destroyed by fire set by Leer in the basement.

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