The best laid plans of mice and men….
My plan today was to get the information on Father Dan Miller’s sentencing posted before I head out later in the afternoon. Well, an bit of an emergency arose and I had to be out the door and away – got home at 4 pm and have to be on my way again at 5 pm.
As far as the emergency, all is well. But, I didn’t accomplish what I had hoped to accomplish
For now, a few quick notes:
(1) Next court date on second set of charges
Father Miller’s next courdate on the second set of charges is:
28 January 2013: 11:00 am, courtroom #1, “first appearance”
I don’t know what happened to setting a date for Examination for Discovery. That may be the order of business at this courtdate. Is till must add that tot he legal calender.
Now, regarding Father Millers’ sentencing yesterday to 9 months plus 10 day plus three years probation
Court was held in courtroom #5, the beautiful courtroom in the old building of the Pembroke courthouse. There were about 27 to 30 people, including three of the victims and their families, and, as always, Father Peter Proulx the head of the Pembroke Diocese Sexual Abuse Committee.
Court was scheduled to start at 09:30. Around 09:32 Father Miller, Father Doug Bridge (Chancellor for the Pembroke Diocese) and his lawyer, Robert Carew entered the courtroom. Father Miller, wearing the same outfit he word on Tuesday past for his other set of sex charges, was directed to the prisoner’s box..
Justice Timothy Ray entered the court around 09:37. The sentencing of the priest began with the judge asking Father Miller if he had anything to say. Miller sort of mumbled: “just to say very sorry for everything.”
Justice Ray then read his Reasons for Sentencing. Click here to access the document. I want to make comment on a few of the judges rather astute statements, must leave that till later.
As the judge rendered the sentence Father Miller sat virtually motionless in the prisoner’s docket. There was no expression on his face. None. Aside a few brief moments, his eyes were closed. (I had intended to tell you that about the sentencing hearing as well. Witness after witness who took the stand at the hearing was left looking at Father Miller with eyes closed – there was no opportunity to look him in the eye to said what had to be said)
After sentencing was pronounced there were a few silent tears and hugs from victims and family members, No rejoicing. I believe people think that there are great hurrays on these occasions. That’s not the way it is. I think I can best describe the atmosphere as that of relief that he will actually spend some time behind bars, tinged with sadness to see that what had once been considered a close friendship built on trust had come to this.
Justice Ray imposed a sentence of nine months and 10 day. Robert Carew (Father Miller’s lawyer) asked to have the 10 days removed. The judge declined.
People spilled out of the courtroom. As I say, no rejoicing. Not truly a happy day. Quite conversations. Some mMedia interviews. The on about the business of the rest of the day, and, yes, time to reflect.
I personally am relieved that he got the full nine months requested by the Crown, but I was beyond disappointed that the Crown requested only nine months. So, I and others are not thrilled that he only ‘got’ nine months, but we are truly relieved that he didn’t walk out of that courtroom a ‘free’ man with an ankle bracelet.
As much as I hate it, sometimes I suppose we must be thankful for the crumbs from under the travel.
I will deal with his later, but must say that was impressed by a number of Justice Ray’s comments. I got the impression that he truly does understand the dame wrought when a priest sexually abuses a child, that he as less than impressed by the diocese care and attention of Father Miller and neglect of the victims, and that he didn’t fall for Mr. Carews’ appeals to let this man loose.
As you know, the period of incarceration is nine months and 10 days of incarceration. In addition, this Roman Cathjolic priest must
(1) Be place on probation for three years ordered that Miller is to
(2) Register as a sex offender
(3) Throughout his probation avoidcontactwith malesundertheageof18; and thevictimsortheirfamiliesunless expresslyinitiatedbyafamilymember
(4) Not posses firearms during his probation
(5) Submit a DNA sample, and
(6) Thsis is amazing and essential, abide by s 161 of the Criminal Code of Canada which reads as follows
161. (1) When an offender is convicted, or is discharged on the conditions prescribed in a probation order under section 730, of an offence referred to in subsection (1.1) in respect of a person who is under the age of 16 years, the court that sentences the offender or directs that the accused be discharged, as the case may be, in addition to any other punishment that may be imposed for that offence or any other condition prescribed in the order of discharge, shall consider making and may make, subject to the conditions or exemptions that the court directs, an order prohibiting the offender from
· (a) attending a public park or public swimming area where persons under the age of 16 years are present or can reasonably be expected to be present, or a daycare centre, schoolground, playground or community centre;
· (b) seeking, obtaining or continuing any employment, whether or not the employment is remunerated, or becoming or being a volunteer in a capacity, that involves being in a position of trust or authority towards persons under the age of 16 years;
· (c) having any contact — including communicating by any means — with a person who is under the age of 16 years, unless the offender does so under the supervision of a person whom the court considers appropriate; or
· (d) using the Internet or other digital network, unless the offender does so in accordance with conditions set by the court.
I must head out now, so, of necessity
Enough for now,