A Gladue report will be prepared for James Lee Busch, 42, who faces two charges of escape from lawful custody for breaking out of William Head Institution with fellow inmate Zachary Armitage in July 2019. (Corrections Service Canada)

A Gladue report will be prepared for James Lee Busch, 42, who faces two charges of escape from lawful custody for breaking out of William Head Institution with fellow inmate Zachary Armitage in July 2019. (Corrections Service Canada)

Sentencing delayed for escaped Metchosin prisoner

James Lee Busch, 42, will be back in court after creation of Indigenous offenders report

Sentencing for a Metchosin inmate charged with two counts of escape from lawful custody has been delayed for at least eight weeks.

James Lee Busch, 42, made a brief appearance by video from Matsqui Institution in Abbotsford, where he told judge Roger Cutler that he was pleading guilty to the charges.

Cutler asked Busch if he was ‘pleading voluntarily’ and without pressure, to which Busch, said he believed [Corrections Services Canada] wanted to make an example out of him.

RELATED: Judge ‘bewildered’ that escaped Metchosin inmate was in a minimum security prison

Busch’s lawyer, Roberto Alberto, clarified that his client understood the guilty plea. Busch was expressing a concern that his sentence might be harsher in order to send a message to other inmates.

“You understand that whatever the penalty is going to be is entirely up to me, regardless of what anyone else might have told you?” Cutler asked.

“Yeah,” Busch responded.

Busch was serving time for second-degree murder and assault when he escaped William Head Institution with fellow inmate Zachary Armitage on the evening of July 7. The two were present for the prison’s 7 p.m. head count, and were discovered missing at 11 p.m.

The pair evaded authorities for two days before being re-captured in Esquimalt. The escaped inmates commented on the size of a dog near the Songhees Walkway on the evening of July 9, unknowingly alerting its owner – an off-duty RCMP officer – to their location. The officer called 911 and the two men were arrested by the Victoria Police Department.

RELATED: Escaped William Head inmates recognized after commenting on off-duty RCMP officer’s dog

On Monday, Alberto requested a Gladue report be prepared for his client – a process that will delay sentencing by at least eight weeks. A Gladue report is a pre-sentencing or bail hearing report for Indigenous offenders with recommendations to the court on appropriate sentencing. The report usually includes information on the individual’s family and background and is typically created by Gladue caseworkers at the request of a judge or lawyer.

“They are specifically done for people of Aboriginal descent, because the Supreme Court of Canada has said there needs to be consideration of many factors that Aboriginal people go through that the rest of society doesn’t go through,” Alberto said. “Over and over, criminal defence lawyers we are finding that the Gladue report is actually very important. The more information you can give the judge the better informed he or she is.”

RELATED: Langford mayor left with questions nearly two months after Metchosin prison escape

Alberto said its unclear if a Gladue report has ever been created for Busch, who has been convicted and sentenced for multiple crimes, including aggravated sexual assault.

“It will probably be best to get a [report] because he has probably gone through a lot of other stuff while in jail,” Alberto said. “So I want to get that information and put it to the judge and go from there.”

Busch’s next court date Feb. 13 will determine if the Gladue report is completed and potentially include the setting of a new sentencing date.

Armitage also pleaded guilty to escape from lawful custody and in November was sentenced to an another year in prison, in addition to his current sentence.

RELATED: Escaped Metchosin inmate sentenced to additional year tacked on to 14-year sentence



nina.grossman@blackpress.ca

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

VicPd are asking for the public’s help in finding Camper, a lost pit bull who ran away after their owner’s van was reportedly attacked by a man with a hammer on June 12. (Courtesy of VicPD)
Edmonton man reportedly smashes van’s windows with hammer while woman and her dog inside

VicPD are asking for help to find Camper, the woman’s dog who ran away during the Friday incident

A temporary urgent and primary care centre will open in Esquimalt this week, offering residents more health care options in their own community. (Black Press Media file)
Esquimalt’s temporary urgent and primary care centre to open Monday

The Esquimalt Health Unit will house the temporary site, permanent location opening in December

A client and a staff member embark on an art project at Oak Bay United Church. (Christine van Reewyk/News Staff)
VIDEO: Oak Bay group of adults with developmental disabilities promotes community inclusivity

Victoria Community Connections moved to Oak Bay late last year

Red arrow shows the existing warehouse that is home to a variety of specialized equipment used by the Capital Region Emergency Services Telecommunications (CREST). The service provider is looking for a new home that will protect the equipment in the event of an earthquake or other natural disaster. (Google Maps)
CREST telecoms look to find a post-seismic facility in Greater Victoria

The move will better protect equipment vital to its 50 emergency service clients across the CRD

(Black Press Media file photo)
FRESH AND LOCAL: Greater Victoria farm markets ready to greet shoppers

A list of markets on the go this spring and summer, right into fall

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Police cars are seen parked outside Vancouver Police Department headquarters on Saturday, January 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver police officer charged with assault during an arrest in 2019

The service has released no other details about the allegations

Denmark’s Christian Eriksen receives medical attention after collapsing during the Euro 2020 soccer championship group B match between Denmark and Finland at Parken stadium in Copenhagen, Saturday, June 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, Pool)
Christian Eriksen in stable condition, Euro 2020 match resumes

Eriksen was given chest compressions after collapsing on the field during a European Championship

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps off Vancouver Island

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

As stories of the horrors of residential schools circulate after the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation announced it had located what are believed to be the remains of 215 children, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs said he feels a connection with the former students. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
2 sides of the same coin: Ex-foster kids identify with residential school survivors

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip says the child welfare system takes Indigenous children from their families

Nathan Watts, a member of the Tseshaht First Nation near Port Alberni, shares his story of substance use, a perspective he said isn’t seen enough. (Photo courtesy of Nathan Watts)
Public shaming, hate perpetuates further substance use: UVic researcher

Longtime addict Nathan Watts offers a user’s perspective on substance use

Most Read