Your Ward News Editor Guilty of Inciting Hatred -- Successful in Delaying Sentencing
A last-ditch effort by the editor-in-chief of Your Ward News - found guilty of inciting hatred against Jews and women earlier this year - to delay his sentence, has worked.
James Sears, 55, will be back in court on August 1st with documents and a witness list to show his ex-lawyer in the case didn't provide a defence and essentially 'threw the case.'
The Crown was seeking a year in jail for Sears - six months for each count of inciting hatred to be served consecutively, - but four days ahead of his sentencing, he submitted an application for review.
Along with his argument about his former lawyer, Sears also argued about Charter and freedom of expression issues, as well as bias from the court.
Judge Richard Blouin dismissed every argument except for the one about his defence and said he would hear the application, provided Sears give a list of witnesses, experts and other documents.
"That's awesome, thank you," Sears said in court.
Sears also reluctantly waived solicitor-client privilege to his former lawyer Dean Embry, so that Embry would be allowed to testify freely in court about his performance.
But he still smiled as he left the courtroom, with the possibility the case could eventually be ordered a mistrial or that it be re-tried.
Warren and Lisa Kinsella, complainants in the case who went to the police about Your Ward News, called it a stall tactic.
"It's a classic case of ragging the puck and that's what he's doing to avoid going to jail," Warren said. "But ultimately, he is going to go to jail."
"The case law that the Crown has outlined makes very clear that in less serious cases of hate promotion, people have been incarcerated, so I think that's what's going to happen here too."
After being convicted back in January, Lisa Kinsella said it's time to move on.
"Mr. Sears is playing a game with the court to delay sentencing because he knows he's going to be going to jail," she said.
Meanwhile, the Crown submitted arguments for the sentencing of Your Ward News' publisher Leroy St. Germaine, 77, seeking six months and two years probation.
His lawyer, Ian McCuaig, is arguing if custody is required, that it be two months of house arrest.
However, he points out that if Blouin were to eventually grant a mistrial or have it re-tried, it could affect his client as well.
"If he acquits Mr. Sears, it would be inconsistent if he didn't also acquit Mr. St.-Germaine," he said.
Both St.-Germaine and Sears will be back in court on August 1st.
Your Ward News was eventually banned from distribution for Canada Post for its content, including Holocaust denial, Nazi imagery and the inferiority of women.
Court heard the free Toronto-based paper was delivered to 300,000 homes and businesses.
"It's months ago this guy was convicted for the most extreme expressions of hate that I've seen in my lifetime and he's still walking the streets," Kinsella said.