'INCENDIARY': Crown wants protestor David Lindsay in jail for a year | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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'INCENDIARY': Crown wants protestor David Lindsay in jail for a year

David Lindsay, right, organizer of the anti-COVID-19 restriction rallies in Kelowna, walks along Kelowna's waterfront Saturday, Jan. 16.

A Crown prosecutor urged a judge in Kelowna to throw the book at serial protester David Lindsay for assaulting two security guards during a protest at Interior Health offices in 2021.

Dave Grabavac said despite the fact no one was injured at all in a scuffle while trying to enter the offices, judge Cathaline Heinrichs should send him to jail for a year and put him on probation for another three years.

“The circumstances of this assault makes it a serious assault,” he said. “The nature of the circumstances makes it very serious.”

Lindsay was convicted after a trial in December 2023 of assaulting the two security guards during a planned protest against measures to control COVID-19 in August 2021 and managed to earn a rebuke for contempt of court in the process.

Lindsay has been front-and-centre of the anti-COVID-19 measures, leading protests in city parks in Downtown Kelowna, almost from the beginning of lockdown and mask mandates.

Lindsay was joined by dozens of supporters when the protest moved to Interior Health on Aug. 19, 2021, and was told by the RCMP, Interior Health and security guards from Palladian security he couldn’t enter the building, but he tried to push his way past anyway.

Those should be strong factors in sentencing, Grabavac said, because it showed Lindsay has no respect for authority and had no way to control what his followers would do in the heated exchange.

Indeed, roughly 50 followers joined him in the courtroom after a prayer circle in the hallways of Kelowna Law Courts. They often made noises bordering on disruption, including laughing and snickering when Grabavac stated his preferred pronouns for the court.

The prosecutor urged Heinrichs to imagine what would have happened if police weren’t in close proximity and stopped the protesters in their tracks. He called the situation “incendiary.”

“They prevented an escalation of violence from occurring,” he said. “It is not clear what would have happened if they were not there… all we know is the police officers stepped in and prevented something else from happening.”

He said although the assaults were minor, they impacted the two security guards involved, Jason Davis and Craig Smith. He read victim impact statements from both men, who described various long-term repercussions from being accosted in public and online to long-term post-traumatic stress disorder and difficulties being in crowds.

He recited Lindsay’s criminal record, which included minor crimes including theft from decades ago and jail time for violating the Income Tax Act, among others.

Grabavac said the fact he was sentenced to 60 days for a non-violent offence means the judge must sent him to prison to send a message to him and others.

“He will clearly use force to further his agenda,” he said.

Lindsay should not qualify for probation alone or a non-custodial sentence because he’s proven he can’t be trusted.

“He’s defied authority so many times, there could be no trust that Mr. Lindsay will follow any conditions whatsoever.”

The sentencing hearing continues today. A decision will be rendered at an unknown future date.

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