Vincent Lacroix criminal trial about to begin

More than 1,500 people will be parading through the corridors of the Palais de Justice in Montreal over the next three days, summoned as potential candidates in the long-awaited criminal proceedings against Vincent Lacroix, the founder of defunct mutual fund company Norbourg Asset Management Inc., who was sentenced to 12 years in a 2007 civil trial after being found guilty of 51 Quebec Securities Act violations for having defrauded 9,200 investors of $115-million between 2000 and 2005.

The 42-year old Quebecer, whose sentence was subsequently reduced to eight-and-a-half years and then to five years less a day last month by the Quebec Court of Appeal, faces nearly 200 criminal charges of fraud, conspiracy to defraud, conspiracy to commit forgery, fabricating documents and money laundering laid by the RCMP following their investigation into Norbourg. Continue reading “Vincent Lacroix criminal trial about to begin”

Hockey legend Guy Lafleur found guilty of perjury

Hockey legend Guy Lafleur, “The Flower,” was found guilty of perjury and giving false evidence at his son’s bail hearing two years ago by a provincial Quebec Court judge.

Lafleur, Montreal Canadiens who played 17 seasons in the National Hockey League (NHL) from 1971 until 1991 and led the Canadians to five Stanley Cups, became entangled in the legal wrangle when he vouched that his son complied with a court-ordered curfew and was at home with his parents during a weekend away from rehab.

Hotel receipts proved later that his troubled son, who suffers from Tourette syndrome, was actually at a hotel for two nights with his 16-year old girlfriend. Lafleur later admitted to condoning the hotel rendezvous, and even drove his son to the hotel.

Mark Lafleur, 24, is serving 15 months’ house arrest after pleading guilty to 23 counts of drug, drunken driving and assault charges, 13 of which involved his ex-girlfriend.

Quebec Court judge Claude Parent said he did not believe Lafleur when he testified that he simply forgot to mention his son’s escapades.

A Canadian hockey ambassador, Lafleur now faces up to 14 years in prison.

Quebec Court judge castigated by his peers, again

Nearly a year after being castigated by the provincial magistrates’ council for overstepping his boundries by incarcerating a police officer for 45 minutes who ostensibly lacked respect, Quebec Court Judge Claude Provost was reprimanded again by his peers.

The Conseil de la Magistrature, whose mandate includes ensuring compliance with judicial ethics, reproached Judge Provost in a 33-page ruling for behaving as a prosecutor, asking questions in an aggressive tone more fitting of a cross-examination, and failing to be objective.

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Elderly sexual offender sentenced to jail

An 82-year old man who sexually abused his two daughters received a 23-month sentence after a Quebec Court judge held that advanced age should not the only determining factor in sentencing a criminal.

Alphonse Tremblay was found guilty of indecent assault committed in 1961 when he touched the breast of his 12-year old daughter, and a few years later of doing the same – and more – with another daughter over a four-year period in the mid-sixties.

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Workplace injury leads to criminal charges

Nearly a year after a Quebec paving-stone company became the first Canadian company convicted of criminal negligence causing the death of an employee under the Criminal Code of Canada, a Montreal garage service manager was accused of two counts of criminal negligence causing injuries to two mechanics who were seriously burned after using a hand-crafted gas guzzler.

After holding a four-day preliminary hearing, Quebec Court Judge Jean Sirois held there was sufficient evidence to charge Mark Hritchuk, marking the first time an employee has been charged under new provisions of the Criminal Code.

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Pirate banned from movie theatres

A 25-year old Montrealer cannot enter a movie theatre nor own any recording device for the next two years after being convicted of illegally copying the film Dan In Real Life with a camcorder in a cinema.

Louis René Haché, the first Canadian to be charged under Canada’s tougher piracy laws and the second to be convicted, was caught red-handed on a late Friday night 18 months ago, comfortably ensconced in his chair, his girlfriend by his side, with a digital camcorder atop a tripod recording Steve Carell’s comedy.

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Mental health court launched, though skepticism lingers

In the works for the past two years, the Montreal Municipal Court became the latest jurisdiction in Canada to launch a mental health court even though a coalition of local community organizations sought a moratorium and a study to examine the effectiveness of specialized courts for mentally ill people.

Modelled after the Toronto Mental Health Court, the three-year pilot project has put in place a multidisciplinary team to deal with mentally ill people charged with minor criminal offenses. Based on a therapeutic model of criminal justice that seeks to provide a dignified and compassionate approach to dealing with accused persons afflicted with mental illness or developmental disabilities, the Court sits five days a week during the afternoons.

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Elderly molester to serve sentence in seniors home

A 93-year old man who sexually abused his daughters nearly fifty years go was condemned to two years less a day to be served in the community due to his advanced age and health problems.

Philippe Hamelin, convicted on a number of charges, including incest, sexual molestation and assault causing bodily harm for incidents that took place between 1956 and 1963, is now deaf and nearly blind, has skin cancer and suffers from a disease akin to Alzheimer’s.

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