Crown seeks jail for man who wouldn’t intervene in wife’s suicide
criminal negligence causing death in December.
MacKenzie said the crime is more one of omission, as opposed to commission, which is why the more serious charge of assisted suicide was withdrawn.
“It was more a matter of him having a duty as a husband to do certain things to assist his spouse with respect to remaining alive,” he said.
MacKenzie refused to say just how much time he would seek when he goes before the court in Thunder Bay today.
He noted the circumstances of the offence would “doubtless engender some sympathy for the accused,” but that a spouse is duty-bound to provide the necessities of life under the Criminal Code.
“(The judge) may not impose any additional time,” he added.
“If that’s the case, on a very specific level, it’s understandable.”
MacKenzie said cases like this one are not common.
He could find just one similar example involving a Northwest Territories man who got drunk and watched his suicidal wife hang herself in their bathroom.
Ian Kirby was sentenced to 20 months in 2004 on top of the eight months he spent in pre-trial custody.
In that case the Crown was seeking a three to four year sentence, while the defence felt the accused “ has been punished enough.”
Fonteece spent more than 60 days in pre-trial custody but was released last April.
A pre-sentencing report to be submitted in court today will show he’s been doing well at a Thunder Bay facility run by the John Howard Society.
Fonteece has obeyed all his bail conditions and gotten involved in a number of different community volunteer programs, MacKenzie said.
“He should be commended for that,” he said.
The defence could not immediately be reached for comment Tuesday.