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Dangerous offender hearing delayed again

By Keith Lacey The lawyer for a man the local Crown attorneyÂ?s office may try as SudburyÂ?s first dangerous offender is infuriated with the way the justice system is treating his client.
By Keith Lacey

The lawyer for a man the local Crown attorneyÂ?s office may try as SudburyÂ?s first dangerous offender is infuriated with the way the justice system is treating his client.

Once again, it was revealed in court Friday, a detailed psychiatric report on Kenneth MacDonald has not been completed by the Toronto psychiatrist who assessed him.

In late April, assistant Crown attorney Fran Howe was successful in having a judge order MacDonald to undergo a 60-day psychiatric assessment in Toronto.

This was the first step in the CrownÂ?s consideration of holding a hearing to have MacDonald tried as a dangerous offender.

The problem, once again, is the doctor has yet to finish his report, almost three months after
MacDonaldÂ?s 60-day assessment was finished.

Meanwhile, MacDonald remains in jail doing Â?dead timeÂ? not knowing what is going to happen to him, said defence counsel Andrew Buttazzoni.

Justice Patricia Hennessy of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, who found MacDonald guilty in February after a trial for a serious hotel washroom assault last summer, could not be in court Friday.

It really didnÂ?t matter, as MacDonaldÂ?s psychiatric report is still not finished.

When the matter returns to court Sept. 9, Buttazzoni told Northern Life heÂ?s filing to have the dangerous offender application stayed against his client.

Â?There was a pre-trial set on this matter this past Wednesday and once again we find out thereÂ?s no psychiatric report ready,Â? said Buttazzoni. Â?ThatÂ?s when I decided enough is enough and formally put together an application for a stay of the dangerous offender application.

Â?Even people convicted of criminal offences deserve the right to be treated fairly and whatÂ?s happening now really isnÂ?t fair.Â?

Buttazzoni said heÂ?s Â?not blaming the CrownÂ? for the many delays insisting the blame lies entirely with the doctor assigned to finalize the psychiatric report.

Â?However, it was the Crown who asked for and received the 60-day assessment and hired this doctor and therefore, the Crown is accountable,Â? he said.

These many delays constitute unnecessary delay and Â?cruel and unusual punishmentÂ? as MacDonald has been sitting in his jail cell for months ready and willing to accept his sentence, said Buttazzoni.

Â?WhatÂ?s really frightening is IÂ?ve been informed this doctor isnÂ?t even returning phone calls from the Crown,Â? he said. Â?IÂ?m just shocked that this doctor is being so indifferent and the system allows him to procrastinate, while my client sits in a jail cell not knowing whatÂ?s going to happen to him.Â?

MacDonald has a long history of criminal offences, including more than a dozen convictions for violence, including aggravated assault, assault with a weapon, numerous other assaults and one conviction for armed robbery.

Buttazzoni said heÂ?s confident the dangerous offender application will be stayed or discarded by the Crown when MacDonald returns to court Sept. 9.

If the dangerous offender application isnÂ?t stayed and isnÂ?t withdrawn, the Crown still has to receive permission from OntarioÂ?s attorney general to proceed with such an application.

If a judge deemed MacDonald a dangerous offender, he could be locked behind bars indefinitely. If a judge ruled MacDonald a long-term offender, authorities would have special powers to watch him closely when not in custody.

Buttazzoni reiterated MacDonald consented to the assessment, went to Toronto for 60 days and itÂ?s not his fault a completed report isnÂ?t available.

Â?ItÂ?s not Kenny MacDonaldÂ?s fault the report isnÂ?t finished, said Buttazzoni. Â?He shouldnÂ?t have to sit and wait any longer. He wants to be sentenced and thatÂ?s what should happen next time weÂ?re in court.Â?