Lunacy trampled justice in Winnipeg recently, leaving its biggest footprint yet.
Last week Judge Ted Lismer decided the fate of an addicted thug
who robbed three businesses and threatened a young woman at knifepoint
while he sexually assaulted her.
Christopher Irvine, 42, terrorized real people in a real
community. But the judge ruled the goon was worthy of the community's
trust. So the thug avoided real consequence and stays home where he can
soak in a tub, smoke cigars, whatever.
And it was as simple as saying he'd been good while on bail. Nobody really checked.
In the circumstances, bail was a generous gift. And it was a
gift that kept on giving. Because he cashed in his on-bail time for
reduced punishment. That reduction allowed for a conditional sentence.
That means he can stay home. And we should all just trust a sexual
offender with an addiction who wields a knife.
Credit for time while out on bail is a whole new game for
Winnipeg justice fans. But not in Ontario, according to the thug's
lawyer, Sarah Inness.
She's right. This type of "progress" left its mark in Ontario some time ago. The murder of Andy Moffitt says it all.
Andy was a young and promising Ottawa engineering student who
tried to break up a fight in a bar two days before Christmas in 1998.
He was killed when one of the brawlers, a punk drug dealer named Henry
Danninger, plunged a knife into him.
Toronto Sun columnist Mark Bonokoski followed and wrote about
the case. After his arrest, Danninger was released on bail with an
overnight curfew and the usual keep-the-peace-and-be-of-good-behaviour.
But he had issues.
While on bail, the Sun reported that Danninger "began skulking
out of his mother's house after midnight, armed with a bucket of urine
and feces he had hidden away in the garage. And then he took that
bucket and poured its contents over his neighbour's car and driveway."
The regular nature of the attacks prompted that victim to set
up video surveillance. Danninger was caught "not once or twice, but on
24 separate occasions. The assaults were virtually nightly. Urine over
the car, feces in the driveway, sardines on the doorstep." His bail was
In 2003 Andy Moffit was posthumously awarded the Governor
General's Medal of Bravery -- the same year Danninger was sentenced by
Superior Court Judge Roydon Kealey, who doled out his own awards to the
Danninger's sentence was reduced to recognize the time he sat
in jail awaiting trial. Even though he was locked up because of his
issues with urine and feces.
It gets better. Judge Kealey gave him two-for-one credits for
the time he spent loafing at home before his bail was revoked. And
incredibly, his credits "included the 24 days during which he snuck out
on his midnight prowls to pour buckets of urine over his neighbour's
Danninger ended up serving three years. Never was there more
perfect nonsense. And now Judge Lismer has joined that perfectly silly
Parliament must quit stalling and start listening to Canadians.
Outlaw conditional sentences for all violence, set minimum sentences
for crimes involving weapons and bring sentence calculation back to the
real world. It's time to quit toying with victims' lives. It's time to