Crockwell hopes to be home for the holidays

Rosie Gillingham
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Getting out of jail ‘would be a nice Christmas present,’ his lawyer says

Leo Crockwell has one wish for Christmas — to get out of jail. That’s what he’ll try to convince a judge to grant him later this month when he brings his case to Newfoundland Supreme Court in St. John’s.

Leo Crockwell. — Telegram file photo

Crockwell — who was sentenced to four years in prison as a result of an armed standoff with police at his family’s home in Bay Bulls — has filed an application claiming adult corrections and prison administrators miscalculated his sentence and, as a result, have kept him behind bars longer than he should have been.

According to Crockwell’s estimation, he should have been released from jail four months ago.

Defence lawyer Nick Westera is representing Crockwell in the application, which is filed against Dean Gambin, the province’s director of adult corrections, and Graham Rogerson, the province’s superintendent of prisons.

Westera was in court Friday when the case was called to set a date for the hearing. Crockwell opted not to show up for the brief appearance.

Westera told Justice Donald Burrage that Crockwell wants the issue dealt with as soon as possible.

“Every day he spends waiting is a day, in our estimation, is a day he shouldn’t be in custody,” Westera said. “He’s hoping this will be dealt with before Christmas.”

However, Department of Justice lawyer David Rodgers, who is representing the respondents, said he wouldn’t be available until February.

Westera objected to waiting that long. Burrage agreed and suggested Rodgers reorganize his schedule.

“If Mr. Westera is correct and Mr. Crockwell will be sitting in custody when he ought not to be, leaving it to the new year compounds the problem,” the judge said.

Westera added Crockwell wants nothing more than to get the issue settled and be freed.

“It would be a nice Christmas present for Mr. Crockwell,” he said.

Rodgers said he would work something out and the lawyers agreed to set the hearing for Dec. 19.

Crockwell barricaded himself inside his family’s home in Bay Bulls in December 2010. It resulted in an eight-day standoff with RCMP officers.

On the night of Dec. 10, 2010, Crockwell slipped undetected out a side window. He was arrested the next day without incident about 18 kilometres away after the RNC was tipped off by a couple, who had given him a ride.

On June 1, 2012, a jury convicted Crockwell of four charges — assaulting his sister with a weapon (a gun), discharging a weapon in the commission of a crime, carelessly using a firearm and mischief by interfering with property.

On Feb. 15, Justice Richard LeBlanc sentenced Crockwell to a global sentence of four years (1,460 days), with three years’

probation. Crockwell was given straight-time credit for the

797 days he’d already spent in custody.

According to corrections’ calculations, Crockwell is due to be released in May 2014, when two-thirds of his remaining time has been served.

Crockwell’s application states the proper way to work out his sentence would be to calculate two-thirds of the total sentence. That would mean the 58-year-old was supposed to be freed from jail in August of this year.

Outside court, Westera said, legislation “is all over place” on the issue.

“It’ll be interesting to see what happens,” he said.

Twitter: @TelyCourt

Organizations: Department of Justice, RCMP

Geographic location: Bay Bulls

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Recent comments

  • Just Sayin
    December 09, 2013 - 08:41

    Mistreatment of Crocker is typical of treatment of those with Mental Health issues. And the legal system is part of the problem. Real criminals often get the best lawyers while those like Crockwell get railroaded. The opice were shamed because Crockwell was supposed to be stupid, in their view. He is obviusly intelligent, with health issues, and better services and consideration would have prevented this tradegy. Pity so many still want to kick a man when he's down. Goes to show many who do this are not very humane, considerate or Christain.

  • Sam
    December 08, 2013 - 13:29

    Good present indeed, as a paragon of justice I hope Mr. Westera can chastity the system and convince the Court.

  • A Sad Atheist
    December 08, 2013 - 10:48

    He hopes to get home for CHRISTMAS (not "The Holidays")... even his lawyer said so... & god(s?) know lawyers would never lie.

  • Sam
    December 08, 2013 - 10:32

    Good present indeed, as a paragon of justice I hope Mr. Westera can chastity the system and convince the Court.

  • Greg
    December 08, 2013 - 10:01

    This is the same guy that was his own legal council at his trial. A lot of good that did for him. Now he says the Justice department does not know how to count. Yes Leo, you show them that New Math you learned while locked up in the Can.

  • tom
    December 08, 2013 - 08:52

    From the day he was locked up his time started and our provincal law says 2/3 is all you serve if you have not been in trouble while locked up. He is right and will be out and will probably get paid off for the extra time served. When he was sentenced the sentence was not 4 years in addition to time served or that time served was dead time so yes he should of been released.

  • Marlene
    December 08, 2013 - 05:54

    let the man out....he has been in there long enough and considering people have done way more causing injuries and even death and they walk the streets. This is a miscarriage of justice and the only reason he is in there so long is because he outsmarted the law and now he is being made an example and being punished for someone elses stupidity.

  • Really?
    December 07, 2013 - 17:10

    A nice Christmas present? Seriously? A nice Christmas present is a less fortunate child getting a gift from the Happy Tree, or Salvation Army. This guy getting back on the streets hardly qualifies as a nice Christmas present.

  • Crackpot
    December 07, 2013 - 08:02

    Leo got nothing better to do than micount the days he's going to be locked away. Maybe a course in basic math could be taught to him before he gets out in May. Leo represented homself at the trial because he believed he knew the law better than any lawyer. Look where that got him.

  • margie
    December 07, 2013 - 00:39

    I Believe it's time to set this man free,I believe he paid his due,I'm sure he wouldn't do this time in jail if he had killed someone. let the poor guy go home and start a life again with his family. Everyone deserve a second chance. Go and do your job Mr.police men and get all those dirtbags of our streets. Thinking of you Mr.Crockwell and hoping you wil get to enjoy home with your family where you deserve at least that much after all these months behind bars.Merry Christmas to you and yours....