Crown seeks jail for man who wouldn’t in­ter­vene in wife’s sui­cide

Cape Breton Post - - NATIONAL - BY TOBI CO­HEN

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.

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