McDiarmid refuses to attend his sentencing

A Dawson City man convicted of assaulting police officers refused to leave his cell to attend his sentencing hearing today. However, that hasn’t prevented the sentencing from going ahead.

A Dawson City man convicted of assaulting police officers refused to leave his cell to attend his sentencing hearing today.

However, that hasn’t prevented the sentencing from going ahead.

This morning Yukon Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth Hughes sent a constable to the Whitehorse Correctional Centre to let Mark McDiarmid know he could show up for this sentencing hearing, appear from jail via a videoconference, or not show up at all. The sentencing would go ahead regardless.

McDiarmid again refused. According to Const. Faulkner, who spoke in court, McDiarmid told him that given his current state of mind and his hostility toward the prosecutor, it would be best for him not to come.

He told the constable he was more hostile than he was at his worst time, and that him coming to court could result in more charges being laid against him.

Justice Hughes found that McDiarmid had voluntarily chosen to be absent to impede or frustrate the court, and decided to continue the hearing.

The Crown is asking for four years in jail sentence for the five charges from 2011 that McDiarmid was convicted for – three counts of assaulting a police officer, one for mischief and one weapons offence.

The Crown prosecutor told the court that McDiarmid could deduct three years, five months and four days from the sentence for time served.

McDiarmid has been in custody since he was arrested on October 19, 2011, for attacking RCMP Sgt. Dave Wallace with a sledgehammer. Wallace was looking for McDiarmid as he had an outstanding warrant.

Crown prosecutor Jennifer Grandy told the court McDiarmid struck Wallace’s truck three times, including once on the windshield, above Wallace’s head.

Quoting the Mountie’s testimony, she said the attack was the most scary thing he encountered in his 24-year career as a police officer.

The following day McDiarmid went through a road stop set up by the RCMP, running over a spike belt.

He threw an unlit mason jar filled with gasoline at one of the police cars and then charged at two officers with a splitting maul, Grandy said.

The officers shot him, as he was coming towards them, with the splitting maul raised over his head.

The choice of weapon and the level of violence displayed are very serious, the prosecutor told the court.

“It is by luck, not by design that no police officer was injured,” Grandy said.

She also pointed out McDiarmid made threatening comments toward Sgt. Wallace during the court proceedings, stating he wanted to assault him, noting he had difficulty with people in authority or who disagreed with him.

“Police officers, probation officers… people in those positions will be at risk (when he is released),” she said.

McDiarmid has consistently refused to have a mental health evaluation and will most likely be released untreated, Grandy said.

It was also not possible to prepare a Gladue report as McDiarmid originally refused to sign a consent form.

Since the Supreme Court decision in R. v. Gladue, courts are required to take into consideration an offender’s aboriginal ancestry and the history of colonialism.

McDiarmid was born in Mayo, according to his testimony, but decided to transfer from the Na-Cho Nyak Dun to the Tr’ondek Hwech’in First Nation. He moved permanently to Dawson City when he was 11, according to the Crown.

The judge is set to rule on the matter Tuesday morning.

Contact Pierre Chauvin at

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Premier Sandy Silver, left, and Yukon’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley speak at a COVID-19 update press conference in Whitehorse on Nov. 19. On Nov. 24, Silver and Hanley announced masks will be mandatory in public places as of Dec. 1, and encouraged Yukoners to begin wearing masks immediately. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Masks mandatory in public places starting on Dec. 1

“The safe six has just got a plus one,” Silver said.

Dr. Brendan Hanley, Yukon’s chief medical officer of health, speaks at a press conference in Whitehorse on March 30. Hanley announced three more COVID-19 cases in a release on Nov. 21. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Three more COVID-19 cases, new exposure notice announced

The Yukon’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Brendan Hanley, announced three… Continue reading

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: COVID-19 strikes another blow at high-school students

They don’t show up very often in COVID-19 case statistics, but they… Continue reading

The Cornerstone housing project under construction at the end of Main Street in Whitehorse on Nov. 19. Community Services Minister John Streicker said he will consult with the Yukon Contractors Association after concerns were raised in the legislature about COVID-19 isolation procedures for Outside workers at the site. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Concerns raised about alternate self-isolation plans for construction

Minister Streicker said going forward, official safety plans should be shared across a worksite

Beatrice Lorne was always remembered by gold rush veterans as the ‘Klondike Nightingale’. (Yukon Archives/Maggies Museum Collection)
History Hunter: Beatrice Lorne — The ‘Klondike Nightingale’

In June of 1929, 11 years after the end of the First… Continue reading

Samson Hartland is the executive director of the Yukon Chamber of Mines. The Yukon Chamber of Mines elected a new board of directors during its annual general meeting held virtually on Nov. 17. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Yukon Chamber of Mines elects new board

The Yukon Chamber of Mines elected a new board of directors during… Continue reading

The Yukon Hospital Corporation has released its annual report for 2019-20, and — unsurprisingly — hospital visitations were down. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Annual report says COVID-19 had a large impact visitation numbers at Whitehorse General

The Yukon Hospital Corporation has released its annual report for 2019-20, and… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

City council was closed to public on March 23 due to gathering rules brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. The council is now hoping there will be ways to improve access for residents to directly address council, even if it’s a virtual connection. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Solution sought to allow for more public presentations with council

Teleconference or video may provide opportunities, Roddick says

Megan Waterman, director of the Lastraw Ranch, is using remediated placer mine land in the Dawson area to raise local meat in a new initiative undertaken with the Yukon government’s agriculture branch. (Submitted)
Dawson-area farm using placer miner partnership to raise pigs on leased land

“Who in their right mind is going to do agriculture at a mining claim? But this made sense.”

Riverdale residents can learn more details of the City of Whitehorse’s plan to FireSmart a total of 24 hectares in the area of Chadburn Lake Road and south of the Hidden Lakes trail at a meeting on Nov. 26. (Ian Stewart/Yukon News file)
Meeting will focus on FireSmart plans

Riverdale residents will learn more details of the City of Whitehorse’s FireSmarting… Continue reading

The City of Whitehorse is planning to borrow $10 million to help pay for the construction of the operations building (pictured), a move that has one concillor questioning why they don’t just use reserve funds. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Councillor questions borrowing plan

City of Whitehorse would borrow $10 million for operations building

Most Read