In Court

Repeat sex offender gets shut down by Judge Lenehan

Judge Gregory Lenehan won’t be back in the public’s good books for some time, after his comments on sexual assault and consent and the acquittal of Bassam Al-Rawi. But I think readers will still enjoy Steve Bruce’s account of Judge Lenehan absolutely shutting down a repeat sex offender who tried to have the last word in court Monday.

Adam Mitchell Cox, 29, groped the leg of a 12-year-old girl sitting next to him at a concert in 2016, while he was on probation and forbidden from interacting with children under 16. In 2013, he was sentenced to two years in in prison and two years’ probation for sexual interference with a 15-year-old girl. He also was charged in 2011 for stealing women’s underwear off Beaver Bank clotheslines. You just can’t make this stuff up.

Cox was determined to get a word in during the sentencing:

“The judge bellowed at the offender after Cox interrupted his decision to complain that it’s impossible to go anywhere without being near children.

‘That’s the order you were under,’ Lenehan hollered. ‘It’s an order of the court. You’re not allowed to be around children under the age of 16. You don’t seem to get it.’”


“People just don’t understand that I have a better judgment of what’s in my head than anybody can tell me,” [Cox] said. “I know. I’m very self-aware. … I’ve always been told I’m wrong about what I think and feel. The help is not there.’


Lenehan went so far as to accuse Cox of trying to play the system.

“You might think that you are more self-aware and that you know yourself better than anybody else, but you are denying to yourself what you need,” the judge said.

“I’ve read your reports. I understand how the professionals view the way which you are trying to manipulate them, and they’re not going to allow it to happen. There’s the problem that you run into. They’re not allowing you to play them.”

Many offenders do not get the services they need. I do not want to downplay that fact, and I know nothing about this man or his attempts to get help. That being said, it’s courtroom drama at its finest. My thanks to Steve Bruce for being in the room to capture it.

Judge Lenehan sentenced Cox to two years in prison and two years’ probation.

Closing arguments continue in Lyle Howe hearing

In closing arguments in Nova Scotia’s longest disciplinary hearing ever, Lyle Howe and his lawyer, Jeanne Sumbu, argued this week that the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society’s investigation into Howe’s professional activities was discriminatory.

Howe argued that he is subject to hypervigilance from the Barristers’ Society and held to a higher standard of perfection because of his race. The hearing has concluded for this month but closing arguments will continue in April.

Blair Rhodes quoted Howe as saying, “I am capable of being a lawyer. You’re just not capable of accepting me as one.”

Son found not criminally responsible for father’s murder

Frank John Lampe was killed by his son in January 2016. His son, Elias Frank Joseph Lampe, admitted to the murder.

Lampe has paranoid schizophrenia, and Justice Patrick Murray found he was not criminally responsible, as he suffered from psychotic delusions at the time of the attack. Lampe believed at the time he had to save the world and go back in time by killing his father and himself.

Lampe was remanded back to the East Coast Forensic Hospital following the decision. Justice Murray is the same judge who found Codey Hennigar not criminally responsible in January for the murder of his family.

In the News

“Sins of thy father” approach challenged in income assistance appeal

When Brenton Sparks lost his income assistance benefits for six weeks after missing a job search meeting with a Department of Community Services worker in 2015, his entire family’s benefits were also cut off for six weeks. The department’s decision was upheld at the Income Assistance Appeal Board in February, and an application for judicial review of that decision was dismissed by the Supreme Court in August.

Allow me to editorialize. As hard as it is to imagine how cutting off someone’s income for six weeks appropriately punishes someone for missing a meeting, it’s even harder to imagine why a woman and three children — four separate human beings — should be similarly punished.

The whole family receives one cheque in Mr. Sparks’ name, apparently, but someone can easily do that math — again, taking as an assumption that six weeks of no income assistance is an appropriate sanction for missing a meeting.

If I miss a doctor’s appointment I get dinged $35, and my doctor wouldn’t even try to help me with my job search. Just saying.

Kim Stanton, legal director of the Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund, spoke to CBC about the gendered nature of the discrimination in this case. LEAF has been allowed to intervene in the case. The Court of Appeal will hear the case on May 31.

Hubley’s house burns down

A fire claimed the home of George Edward Hubley on March 13. Hubley was convicted in February for interfering with human remains and accessory to murder after the fact for Catie Miller’s murder in 2014. RCMP say the fire was not suspicious, and no one was hurt.


Leave to appeal denied for man sentenced for having sex with 14-year-old

Justice Farrar of the Court of Appeal denied Nickolis William DeYoung’s application for leave to appeal, leave to amend his Notice of Appeal to include a Charter argument, and application for interim release from custody pending appeal.

DeYoung, 23,  pleaded guilty in 2015 to sexual assault for having sex with a 14-year-old girl who he chatted with online and invited to his home, paying for her cab. In 2016 he was sentenced to a year in prison followed by two years’ probation.

As Justice Farrar noted in his decision, “Mr. DeYoung has some learning difficulties” (para 2). At sentencing in 2016, the court heard “evidence and testimony from the accused’s mother showed that DeYoung is in the ‘low-average range of intellectual function’” (via the New Glasgow News). DeYoung argued in part that the sentencing judge failed to give appropriate weight to his intellectual difficulties in imposing the one-year prison sentence.

The Court of Appeal judge disagreed, saying the sentencing judge’s “finding that there was a significant degree of planning and premeditation is amply supported by the record.”. Justice Farrar quoted from the sentencing judge:

Mr. DeYoung was the prime mover in this crime and no fault is to be attributed to the victim in any way. Mr. DeYoung’s cognitive and social deficits did not inhibit him from contacting … from initiating contact with the victim by means of a social networking site and continuing that contact up to the point in time he invited her for a visit, nor did it inhibit him from arranging to have a taxi pick her up and bring her to his apartment where he certainly would have the capacity and capability to exercise a degree of control over her.

Although Mr. DeYoung’s level of planning and calculation might not have reached [a] high level of grooming and predation … I consider Mr. DeYoung’s moral culpability to be in the mid-range on the scale of gravity.

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  1. Remember the 2009 wildfire in Purcell’s Cove and the loss of expensive homes ?
    And the flare up after many thought the fire was out.

    In this March 24 decision : the judge writes
    ” On March 7, 2017, I wrote to counsel advising that the earliest trial dates now available for a long trial (15 days or more in length) would be during the latter part of 2019. ”

    HRM failed in its attempts to strike several of the plaintiffs claims, sections 5 & 6 :
    ” 5. The main thrust of the case against HRM/HRFES is that:
    a. There was a failure to identify the fact that the fire was not extinguished
    on April 29, 2009;
    b. On April 30, 2009, there was a failure to promptly survey the fire scene
    and to mop up original burn area;
    c. The one crew that surveyed the scene on April 30, 2009 left for lunch
    when a flare up was imminent; and
    d. When the call came in on the afternoon of April 30, 2009 about a fire in
    the same area, the crew failed to identify it as a flare up, failed to properly
    survey the entire burn area, and failed to call for back up assistance until
    later in the afternoon when the fire had already spread from the area and
    the homes of the Plaintiffs were in imminent danger.
    6. The main thrust of the claim against DNR is that it failed to advise HRFES that
    the original fire had not been extinguished and that it required mop up the following morning. It is also alleged that DNR failed to supply personnel or offer assistance in the conduct of mop up the following morning. “