Kevin Martin: Slap on the wrist for fleeing nation


The sentence handed homicide suspect Nathan Gervais this week for fleeing the nation to keep away from his trial could have little consequence for the Calgary man.

Gervais was given the equal of a 15-month sentence for breaching a situation of his launch after he failed to indicate up for his April 2016 trial with 4 different accused.

It price society a whole bunch of hundreds of to trace him to Vietnam and convey him again to Canada, it price the household of slain metropolis man Lukas Strasser-Hird the ache of a second trial and it price his personal father $100,000 in forfeited bail cash.

However aside from a legal conviction, Gervais pays no different value for his flight from justice.

Crown prosecutor Steven Johnston requested for a big sentence for Gervais for successfully breaching his home arrest by leaving the nation and provincial court docket Decide Mike Dinkel obliged.

Gervais, 23, and with no prior document, would probably have been taking a look at a tremendous for his bail breach had it not concerned the extraordinarily aggravating circumstances it did.

However Dinkel agreed with Johnston a message needed to be despatched to people on bail on severe legal allegation that in the event that they flee the nation, they’ll be taking a look at time behind bars.

That message, nonetheless, shall be misplaced on Gervais.

As a first-degree homicide suspect, it was a uncommon event that he was granted his launch within the first place.

Though people charged with homicide are eligible for judicial interim launch, the problem of whether or not they’re a flight danger is entrance and centre in figuring out whether or not they are going to be granted bail.

In Gervais’ case that danger was mitigated by his father placing up each money and property as a assure his son would seem in court docket.

Clearly his father’s monetary well-being wasn’t essential sufficient to discourage Gervais from travelling to Edmonton, hopping on a aircraft to Vancouver after which, utilizing another person’s passport, flying to southeast Asia, the place he finally made is solution to Vietnam.

Gervais was even in a position to get by a secondary test by officers in Vancouver earlier than he fled Canadian justice.

So even when he had been inclined to use for bail once more pending his upcoming trial subsequent January, Gervais would don’t have any hope in gaining his launch.

Gervais didn’t simply go into hiding in Calgary, or some place else in Alberta, or the remainder of the nation.

He really left the continent for a nation that doesn’t have an extradition settlement with Canada, in an effort to evade his homicide cost.

However each Dinkel and Johnston’s fingers had been tied by the actual fact the utmost punishment for breaching a bail situation — which, regardless of the flowery nature of Gervais’ flight, that’s all he did — is 2 years.

With Gervais’ responsible plea, his relative youth and his lack of a previous document even the utmost punishment couldn’t be imposed.

So with enhanced credit score for his time behind bars in Vietnam and on remand, one thing all offenders are entitled to, Gervais was ordered to serve one other 200 days of his 15-month time period.

That shall be used up lengthy earlier than his trial begins Jan. 14, time he would have spent behind bars anyway.

In actual fact, anybody going through a homicide cost who’s free on bail would face the identical consequence — their launch could be revoked pending trial.

The one method his flight from justice will price him something is that if Gervais is convicted of a diminished cost of manslaughter.

In that case he received’t get credit score for a few of his time behind bars when sentenced on that offence.

Maybe it’s time for the federal authorities to take a look at this space of the Felony Code and create a brand new offence with harsher penalties for many who flee Canada with a purpose to evade prosecution on severe allegations.

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