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Sentence for two special constables being appealed

Daniel Fraser and Cheryl Gardner received suspended sentences in August after being found guilty of criminal negligence causing death
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(stock photo)

The sentence handed to two special constables in the death of a man in Halifax police cell is being appealed.

In November of 2019, Daniel Fraser and Cheryl Gardner were found guilty of criminal negligence causing death after a medical examiner determined Corey Rogers died of asphyxiation while appear to choke on his own vomit in a jail cell with a spit hood over his head.

Both received suspended sentences in August, with three years probation and 200 hours of community service.

In an emailed statement, the Crown attorney who prosecuted the case, Christian Vanderhooft, said an appeal was filed Monday with the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal based on three grounds.

One, that the trial judge erred in principle in his consideration of denunciation and deterrence. Two, 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 three, 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.

Vanderhooft says it's his understanding that the defence counsel for the both Fraser and Gardner have filed appeals of their own, but he did not include any details.

He expects they will receive direction from the Court of Appeal at an appearance set for September 23 to confirm timelines for filing materials and dates for the appeal hearing.




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