Crown and defence lawyers were in agreement on a jail term for Colin Wheeler as he was sentenced for the third time this month.
They disagreed, however, on whether his newest sentence should be served concurrent or consecutive to the lengthy period he’s already serving.
Wheeler was sentenced in Corner Brook on Nov. 8 to 3 ½ years behind bars for charges of assault with a knife, mischief and breaching court orders in connection with an incident involving two women last year.
The next day he was in provincial court in St. John’s, where he received a further 13 months in jail for a range of crimes he committed inside Her Majesty’s Penitentiary since his arrest on the west coast. The charges included multiple counts of pulling the fire alarm, assaulting inmates, assaulting a correctional officer by throwing urine at her and later threatening her life, and damaging prison property.
The most recent charge — assaulting a correctional officer by punching him in the face, resulting in bruises and a laceration inside the officer’s mouth — happened Oct. 30.
Defence lawyer Tim O’Brien asked for a sentence of 30 days served concurrent to Wheeler’s lengthier sentence, saying police had been aware of the assault, but had chosen not to charge Wheeler until after he was sentenced for his other prison crimes.
“It’s not really clear why police didn’t charge him before,” O’Brien said.
He said it was likely the assault would have been included with Wheeler’s other prison crimes and ordered to be served concurrently.
Crown prosecutor Jennifer Colford argued for a 30-day sentence to be served after Wheeler’s other sentences were completed.
“Obviously, Mr. Wheeler has to understand assaults on a correctional officer, or any peace officer, is not an action to be encouraged. It’s to be discouraged,” Colford said.
“I was the judge who sentenced him a few weeks ago,” Judge Mark Pike told the lawyers, saying he wouldn’t necessarily have given him a concurrent sentence, given it was a separate incident.
Pike ordered Wheeler to serve the 30 days after his other sentences were finished.
Wheeler is set to move to a federal prison to serve his sentences.
Man receives two jail sentences in one week