Judge sentences McDiarmid to 40 months

Mark McDiarmid received a 40-month sentence yesterday in Yukon Supreme Court for assaulting three police officers near Dawson City in 20.11 Justice Elizabeth Hughes sentenced McDiarmid to 18 months for assaulting Sgt.

Mark McDiarmid received a 40-month sentence yesterday in Yukon Supreme Court for assaulting three police officers near Dawson City in 2011.

Justice Elizabeth Hughes sentenced McDiarmid to 18 months for assaulting Sgt. Wallace, 22 months for assaulting Const. Jeff Nielsen and 22 months for Const. David Marentette.

As some of the sentences are to be served concurrently, McDiarmid’s overall sentence is 40 months.

On Oct. 19, 2011 McDiarmid struck Wallace’s truck with a sledgehammer. McDiarmid had an outstanding warrant and Wallace approached him to bring him to the station. The court heard that McDiarmid struck Wallace’s truck three times, including once on the windshield, above Wallace’s head.

The next day several RCMP officers set up a roadblock to arrest McDiarmid. He ran over a spike belt before approaching two officers, Const. Nielsen and Marentette, with a splitting maul.

The officers fired at McDiarmid, hitting him with three bullets.

He was also sentenced to one month in jail for mischief and two months for a weapons offence.

However, the judge decided to give him extra credit for his pre-trial custody – he’s been detained since 2011 – at the maximum ratio, 1.5 days for each day served.

McDiarmid has effectively already served his sentence and even has a credit of 21.5 months.

The Crown was seeking four years imprisonment.

“It is by luck, not by design that no police officer was injured,” Crown prosecutor Jennifer Grandy said on Monday during the sentencing hearing.

McDiarmid refused to leave his cell for the sentencing hearing and the decision itself.

“The court has sought not to allow me a proper sentencing hearing and manipulated the rules in order to circumvent the process and limited what I am to be allowed,” he wrote in a letter sent to news organizations on the eve of his sentencing hearing.

At trial, the jury acquitted him of attempted murders on the officers, but convicted him of assault, mischief and a weapons offence.

McDiarmid contested part of the officer testimonies, claiming much of the evidence against him was fabricated. He has already announced he would appeal the decision.

McDiarmid is in custody at the Whitehorse Correctional Centre pending another trial, for an alleged assault in the Whitehorse court cellblock, Crown prosecutor David McWhinnie told the News.

The judge noted McDiarmid had “taken steps to derail and frustrate the court.”

He refused to meet with a probation officer, threatened to sue Jody Beaumont, who testified for McDiarmid’s Gladue report – which looks at historical and systemic factors for aboriginal offenders – on behalf of the Tr’ondek Hwech’in First Nation, and refused to leave his cell to attend the sentencing hearing.

The judge noted McDiarmid was an intelligent man, for whom work was important.

“It’s fair to say he faced challenges at a young age with the death of his father and bullying,” she said.

During sentencing judges weigh mitigating and aggravating factors.

McDiarmid was a productive member of society before his arrest, the judge noted, and has extensive community support. She said his mother attended almost every day of the six-and-a-half week trial that took place in Dawson City.

There are, however, a considerable number of aggravating factors, she said. McDiarmid knew there was an RCMP warrant out for him when Sgt. Wallace met him.

He doesn’t accept any responsibility for his actions and has been threatening people even during the trial, she added.

“There is no prospect for rehabilitation,” Justice Hughes concluded.

On top of his sentence, the judge issued a weapon prohibition order for the next 10 years, and that the splitting maul be forfeited.

Contact Pierre Chauvin at

pierre.chauvin@yukon-news.com

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