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Judge showed more empathy to police than family says Corey Rogers' mother

The prosecutor in the case is appealing the sentences of two special constables
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(stock photo)

The prosecutor in the Corey Rogers case has appealed the sentences given to two Halifax Regional Police special constables.

The mother of Rogers believes the judge gave more consideration to the officers than to the family of the deceased. 

“The judge ... went on to say that the defendants had suffered depression and anxiety but he didn’t say too much about what the family suffered,” Jeannette Rafuse-Rogers tells NEWS 95.7's The Sheldon MacLeod Show.

In November, Daniel Fraser and Cheryl Gardner were found guilty of criminal negligence in the suffocation death of Rogers. 

Last month the pair were handed suspended sentences and three years probation, which Rafuse-Rogers called a “slap on the wrist."

“When the sentence went down, I was very upset. I felt that there hadn’t been any justice for Corey," she says.

The prosecutor, Chris Vanderhooft, is looking for a two-year sentence on the appeal, citing the trial judge erred in principle in his consideration of denunciation and deterrence, that the trial judge erred by overemphasizing the respondent's personal circumstances notwithstanding the focus on deterrence and denunciation required in sentencing for this offence, and that the sentencing judge erred in his assessment and treatment of aggravating and mitigating factors and in his consideration of relevant sentencing principles that resulted in an unfit sentence.   

Rafuse-Rogers says she supports the appeal by the prosecution because she doesn’t want to see this happen to someone else.

“It will be a denunciation and a deterrent for other booking officers who are presently working,” she says.

She's partnered with the East Coast Prison Justice Society to work to have spit hoods eliminated.

“As far as I can tell, there’s no need for them,” she says. 

The defence in the case has also appealed the sentence handed down by the judge, though the specifics are not known at this time.

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