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We are in court for the sentencing hearing of Matt McKnight. He was found guilty of five counts of sex assault.
Background story here:…
Also follow my colleague @cbcjanjohnston , who has bee covering much of this case from the beginning.
For count 6--McKnight is sentenced to 3 years.
Count 7: 4 years.
On count 12 we're hearing she believed she was drugged, but could not find proof beyond reasonable doubt. Judge says 3 years.
Justice mentions the combined total of the years to be 16.5 years. She is now getting to whether sentences have to be consecutive.
"Consecutive sentences must be imposed," Justice says, but says she has to consider concept of totality.
She says McKnight is a first-time offender of previous good character.
Says his moral blameworthiness is not so great as to require such a grave sentence. "A sentence of 16.5 years" would be too much, she says.
Judge is of the view that sentence should be reduced to 10 years.
"The women involved in this case," justice says, all gave very powerful accounts. Says nevertheless the victim impact statements would not affect the principles she's outlined so far in coming up with a sentence.
Justice now gets to attack in remand centre, calls it "vicious."
McKnight, for the record, has mostly just sat upright, perfectly still, in his box, looking at the Justice. Occasionally swept his head around very slowly to look at rest of courtroom.
"This whole action was to me similar but worse to rubber neckers on the highway viewing an accident," Justice says, of the remand centre attack episode.
Says this episode is related to sentencing. "Not outside of vigilante behaviour." Says the circumstances further warrant a reduction in sentence---takes off one more year from sentencing. (So down to 9 now).
(McKnight briefly appeared to nod downward at that then put head back up).
Justice accepts that he's vert repentant. Several women in the gallery have stood up and are holding hands. One of them said something I could not quite understand.
A security officer has moved next to McKnight. Another guard is standing next to the women on the other side of plexiglass. A woman is hugging one of the others. "What's wrong with oyu?"
"What's wrong with you?" A woman yelled marched into court, pushed something. "Get me out of here," she shouted. As guards escorted her out.
"How dare you?" another yelled. "Un(f*) in real," one said. "Sympathizers," said another, storming off.
Court has adjourned, there are now four security guards in the room.
One more woman called him a skinner, told him to "f*-in get raped," as she walked out.
McKnight sits back down and justice returns.
McKnight is asked to stand. Another woman walks back in, brandishes the middle finger at viewing gallery as she walks to her seat.
McKnight's sentence is 8 years.
Discretionary order not to contact the 5 women he was found guilty of assaulting.
Another "get raped you f*in skinner," as one of the women walked out and he is handcuffed.
for the record it was a monitor that one of the women knocked over.
Now waiting for prosecution and defence to speak after McKnight sentencing. Image
Meanwhile, one of the women whose sex assault testimony did not result in a guilty charge, and her sister, spoke to journalists in an emotionally charged scrum.
The two women described a bit of a roller-coaster as they started out with hopes held high when the initial sentence of 16.5 years was read by Justice Doreen Sulyma.
And 'down, down, down' it went to 8 years, along with their hopes.
Still, one of them qualified this as 'progress' given how often sex assault trials do not result in a guilty verdict at all.
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