South Okanagan man waits in jail for three months to get a three week sentence - InfoNews

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South Okanagan man waits in jail for three months to get a three week sentence

November 23, 2016 - 11:46 AM

PENTICTON - A Keremeos man with a bipolar disorder has paid dearly for his crimes, spending about three months behind bars only to receive a three week jail sentence.

Richard Michael Leibach pleaded guilty to carrying a weapon, fraudulently obtaining food and breach of conditions in Penticton court yesterday, Nov. 22, in connection with an incident at the Branding Iron Bar and Grill in Keremeos on Aug. 26.

Crown prosecutor Andrew Vandersluys told the court Leibach was dining at the Branding Iron late in the evening when he began causing a disturbance.

Police were called and arrived to find Leibach walking down the street. He was stopped, identified as the suspect and arrested for walking away from an unpaid $24.15 bill for his meal.

A search of his person revealed a small silver pocketknife, which Leibach was reported to have flashed while at the restaurant.

He was arrested on breach of conditions, dining and dashing and for carrying a weapon, and taken to the Keremeos detachment. Once there, Vandersluys said his behavior was volatile and he refused to respond to police commands.

Leibach was transferred to the Penticton detachment jail where he underwent dramatic mood changes from being happy and joking, to erratic and irrational. Court heard at one point he washed his shirt in the cell’s toilet before it was discovered he has a bipolar disorder.

Vandersluys asked Judge Gale Sinclair for a sentence of seven days on each of the three counts for a total 21 days, pointing out the man had already spent the last 89 days in jail.

Defence lawyer Robert Maxwell told Judge Sinclair his client, “should get a points card for the added days he spent unnecessarily in jail.” Maxwell said his client was fine when he was on his medication, noting Leibach intended to return to his hometown of Duncan upon release.

Sinclair agreed to Crown’s submission and sentenced Leibach to 21 days in jail, also waiving the $300 in victim surcharges, noting the excessive time Leibach had spent in jail on “inconsequential matters."

Leibach was released from custody.


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