High Prairie’s forgotten victims

If anyone thought there was true justice in this world, they had better think twice.

Three ongoing cases in High Prairie provincial court should sound alarm bells to how inefficient and a colossal waste of money the legal system is to the taxpayer.

Before I tell what is going on, a warning: don’t read any further unless you have a barf bag handy.

Let’s first examine the case of Cole Harvey Hansen. He is alleged to have robbed two elderly High Prairie women of the whopping total of $80 on Nov. 7, 2016. Almost two years ago!

Of course, Hansen faces other charges [12 at last count] besides robbery including multiple uttering threats to cause bodily harm, snubbing court orders and being drunk in public.

We all saw the victims in town. I was especially proud of one victim, who attended the Remembrance Day service Nov. 11, bruises in full view for everyone to see. God bless her for doing her duty to pay respect to our veterans. Wish Hansen was more like her!

The last time Hansen appeared in court was May 28. It was his 16th court appearance on most of his charges.

That’s right. Sixteen times!

Who wins from all this? The lawyers who appear and get paid, certainly not the taxpayers who foot the bill!

Hansen is set for sentencing Sept. 10 but don’t hold your breath. Hansen failed to appear for sentencing on Aug. 21, 2017 after pleading guilty to five charges on April 10.

At least this time he is behind bars. We can only hope the locks and chains on the doors are strong enough to hold him!

Then we have the case of our alleged arsonist, Christopher A. Trindle. He is accused of setting fire to two High Prairie buildings [Collett Building and Pin Cushion Boutique] and two vehicles 11 months ago. He faces four arson charges.

Trindle appeared in court July 16 and had his matter set over until July 30. It was the 10th time since the fires were set just under a year ago. Ten times of delays, lawyers ringing up bills, and wasted court time.

Oh, well! Trindle now has a new lawyer who has not yet received disclosure! Here we go again!

Right now, subject to change, Trindle’s trial is set for Oct. 4. Stay tuned but don’t hold your breath!

Then we have the case of Charles Edward Bleakley. He’s the man who led police on a dangerous, high-speed chase and armed stand-off near Kinuso just over 16 months ago.

That’s right, 16 months. His July 16 court appearance marked the 13th time he appeared to answer to his 24 charges.

It gets worse. His new lawyer is arguing that Bleakley may not be responsible for his actions. It has taken someone in the system 16 months to figure that out? There was no hurry, of course, because the taxpayer was paying all the bills for the near endless amount of court appearances and wasted time and effort.

Cha-ching! Cha-ching!

Our legal system does not move at a Ketchup slow pace, Rather, it’s glacier slow. Continental drift slow.

As a society, I think most agree everyone is entitled to a defence. But the endless game playing by lawyers and needless delays do not respect the people who are paying the bills – namely the taxpayers.

And it gets even worse. We haven’t even opened the argument for the respect of the victims in all these cases. Who the hell is speaking for them as lawyers and judges play games in the courtroom?

Besides me, doesn’t anyone think the victims are entitled to closure in these cases?


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