B.C.’s prosecution service says the former mayor of Burns Lake has been sentenced to two years less a day for sexual offences involving four boys under the age of 16. Luke Strimbold, then mayor, addresses the media during a news conference in Burns Lake on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Crown won’t appeal sentence in child sex assault case of former Burns Lake mayor

B.C. Prosecution Service said sentence doesn’t meet standard for appeal

Crown counsel will not appeal the sentence in the case of a former Burns Lake mayor who admitted to sexually assaulting boys under the age of 16.

In December, Luke Strimbold was sentenced to two years minus a day after pleading guilty to two counts of sex assault, and one count each of sexual interference and invitation to sexual touching, stemming from incidents between 2009 and 2017. He was initially charged with 29 counts.

An online petition, launched by a Prince George man, asked the B.C. government to appeal what he called a “light” sentence. The petition had 2,700 names as of Friday morning.

But the case doesn’t fit the province’s policy involving unfit sentences, said Dan McLaughlin, B.C. Prosecution Service spokesperson, in an email to Black Press Media.

“The policy notes that, generally, a sentence will only be considered unfit if it is clearly below the acceptable range of sentence and not merely at the low end of the acceptable range,” McLaughlin said.

During the hearing, Crown prosecutor Richard Peck had argued for a four- to six-year sentence, pointing to the importance of denunciation and deterrence in cases where children are involved.

He acknowledged Strimbold’s early guilty plea and lack of criminal record, but said the minimum for each count should be 12 to 18 months based on case law.

READ MORE: Former Burns Lake mayor pleads guilty to four sex assault charges

Defence counsel Stanley Tessmer argued that at the time of the offences, Strimbold did not recognize that what he was doing was wrong because of his own history of sexual abuse, repressed homosexuality and addiction to alcohol.

He said his client had since undergone extensive counselling. A psychological report said the former mayor was a low risk to reoffend.

Strimbold himself gave a tearful apology at the sentencing hearing, saying he will “forever be regretful” for his actions.

“In this case, Mr. Peck concluded that while the sentence was low, he was unable to find that it was unfit, particularly given the judge’s emphasis on the mitigating circumstances, the offender’s prospects for rehabilitation, and the broad deference shown to sentencing judges by appellate courts,” McLaughlin said in the email.

Strimbold also received two years’ probation and a ban from working with young people for five years. He will also be placed on the sex offender registry.

– with files from Thom Barker with Smithers Interior News


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Patrick brothers who shaped modern hockey also tried, but failed, to remove violence

New history thesis shows efforts to sell a “clean game” in Oak Bay

Victoria man to run marathon after overcoming rare cancer diagnosis

Nigel Deacon was diagnosed with ocular melanoma in 2010

Burger sales bring in $5,000 to build Imagination Libraries in Greater Victoria

United Way of Greater Victoria and Big Wheel Burger team up to get kids reading

Donated sculpture in Sidney’s Beacon Park a testament to perseverance

Victoria artist Armando Barbon picked up sculpting 22 years ago

Greater Victoria businesses come together to help Island kids

Langford Lowe’s raises funds for youth mental health all month

QUIZ: A celebration of apples

September is the start of the apple harvest

POLL: Do you plan on allowing your children to go trick or treating this year?

This popular annual social time will look quite different this year due to COVID-19

B.C. migrant, undocumented workers rally for permanent residency program

Rally is part of the Amnesty for Undocumented Workers Campaign led by the Migrant Workers Centre

Preparations underway for pandemic election in Saskatchewan and maybe B.C.

Administrators in B.C. and around the country are also looking to expand voting by mail during the pandemic

Nearly 20 per cent of COVID-19 infections among health-care workers by late July

WHO acknowledged the possibility that COVID-19 might be spread in the air under certain conditions

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Ferry riders say lower fares are what’s most needed to improve service

Provincial government announces findings of public engagement process

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Comox Valley protesters send message over old-growth logging

Event in downtown Courtenay was part of wider event on Friday

Most Read