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

Faulty janitorial equipment likely caused Saanich school fire

Saturday morning fire damaged roof of Strawberry Vale Elementary

Greater Victoria records highest unemployment in history with 11 per cent

Past peak was 7.8 per cent more than a decade ago, according to South Island Prosperity Partnership

Garth Homer Society in Saanich turns lemons into lemonade with online programs

Victoria disability organization sets up online programs and learning tools in wake of COVID-19

Human behaviour likely to deter birds from Esquimalt Lagoon, survey suggests

More Great Blue Herons spotted, fewer mallard ducks seen

Sidney’s Mary Winspear Centre to host a trio of acts

Aaron Pritchett, Alex Cuba and Valdy will each play four shows

Islanders want BC Ferries to follow order that lets residents board before tourists

For ferry-dependent communities, ferries are often the sole practical lifeline to work, school or medical appointments.

Beverly Hills 90210 star’s family selling Vancouver Island Beach Resort

You can own Jason Priestley’s Terrace Beach Resort in Ucluelet for less than $5 million

Genetic detectives begin work to trace spread of COVID-19 in Canada

The kinds of genetic technology being used for this project did not exist when SARS hit Canada in 2003

Sports fishers protest Fraser River Chinook closures

Public Fishery Alliance wants hatchery fish open for harvest

B.C. Ferries increasing passenger capacity after COVID-19 restrictions

Transport Canada 50-per-cent limit being phased out, no current plans to provide masks

Shellfish industry get funds to clean up at Island sites and beyond

Businesses can apply to cover half of costs to clean up so-called ‘ghost gear’

Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Most Read