(THUNDER BAY, ON) – Sitting in bail court on Saturday, January 4th, 2020 was quite interesting this weekend. This was my first day back in court after having some medical issues which restrained my ability to move. luckily, my doctors rock and got me on some better medication.
So I’m sitting in court and listening to the phone ring on speakerphone as we connect with the Sioux Lookout detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police. An officer answers the phone and the accused is requested to come to the phone for their shot at getting released. The officer says he has to go get her from the cell area and will be right back.
A few moments pass by and over the phone, I can hear random yelling in the distance. The officer returns to the phone and informs the court that they were unable to retrieve the accused from the cell area as she was throwing punches at the officers when they tried to get her to come to the phone for court.
Justice of the Peace Bruce Leaman was presiding over court that day and he quickly suggested that the court will call the officer’s cell phone and he can stand outside of the accused’s cell and conduct court over speakerphone. The officer consents to the request put forth and the court dials up the officer’s cell phone.
The woman appears responsive, quiet and co-operative with the court during the phone call. She’s currently facing charges that stem from an incident in which it is alleged that she broke into the home of a legal aid worker, stole a knife, assaulted the homeowner, and threatened to burn down the house among other things.
23-year-old Alana Whiskeyjack is currently facing the following charges stemming from that incident:
- Break and enter and commit theft.
- Mischief causing damage to a window under $5000.
- Theft of a knife under $5000.
- Uttering threats to burn down the house.
- Possess a weapon for a purpose dangerous to the public.
Whiskeyjack is already going through court for possession of a schedule 1 substance (meth).
Crown Attorney Katrina “Lock ’em UP!” VanKessel is stern and firm in her position regarding this matter. She informs the court that Whiskeyjack is in a reverse-onus situation and that she intends to show the courts why the accused should remain locked up behind bars. VanKessel cites secondary and tertiary ground concerns as reasons for wanting to detain Whiskeyjack. Secondary ground concerns mean that the Crown believes there is a substantial risk that Whiskeyjack, should she be released, will either re-offend, become a public safety concern, interfere with the administration of justice or a combination of the three. Tertiary ground concerns mean that the Crown believes that should the accused be released, it might cause the public to lose confidence in the administration of justice.
Duty counsel lawyer Scarfe requests that the matter returns in a Sioux Lookout courtroom on Monday, January 6th, 2020 for another swing at bail.
Whiskeyjack is ordered to remain in jail for the time being. She’s headed off to the Kenora District Jail where she is likely to remain until at least her Monday court appearance.