Thursday, July 20, 2017

Two men sentenced to jail for assaulting Kamloops RCMP officer after appeal

Const. Paul Koester
Two men who initially avoided jail after being convicted of assaulting a police officer have had jail sentences imposed on them following an appeal by the Crown.

In January, Leon Francis Leclerc, 47, and Jerry Lee Lamar, 52, received conditional sentences of two years less a day and two years probation after pleading guilty to the July 2014 assault of Kamloops RCMP Const. Paul Koester. Koester was knocked unconscious and left on the side of the road as his two assailants got into their truck and ran away. The officer, who suffered a concussion in the attack, was helped by a passerby within a minute or two.
In imposing conditional sentences on the two men, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Dev Dley found there were exceptional circumstances that tipped the balance away from a jail sentence.

A three-judge panel of the B.C. Court of Appeal found that the judge erred many times. Dley erred in his consideration of the aggravating factors in the case, which included that it was an assault of a police officer in the lawful execution of his duties, that it was a two-on-one attack and that the two men left the scene knowing the officer was injured and unattended in a rural area. The court substituted a sentence of 12 months in jail for Lamar and 15 months in jail Leclerc.