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

Woman in Fraser Health region confirmed as sixth COVID-19 case in B.C.

Woman remains in isolation as Fraser Health officials investigate

Show challenging established views of women coming to Pitt Meadows

Unapologetically HER 2020: Stripped takes place Mar. 7

Pitt Meadows Runway Cafe re-opens its doors

Operations had to be moved to make way for new terminal

Maple Ridge kids share kindness all month in lead up to Pink Shirt Day

Annual anti-bullying campaign will be held Feb. 26

Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows museums offer exclusive tours during Heritage Week

Curious residents can dig into the history of their hometowns Sunday

Blair says RCMP have met Wet’suwet’en conditions, calls for end to blockades

The Wet’suwet’en’s hereditary chiefs oppose the Coastal GasLink project

Health officials confirm sixth COVID-19 case in B.C.

Woman remains in isolation as Fraser Health officials investigate

Study says flu vaccine protected most people during unusual influenza season

Test-negative method was pioneered by the BC Centre for Disease Control in 2004

Saskatchewan and B.C. reach championship round at Scotties

British Columbia’s Corryn Brown locked up the last berth in Pool B

‘Chain reaction pile up’ closes southbound traffic on Coquihalla Highway

Black Press Media has reached out to RCMP, paramedics for details

Exploding enrolment prompts opening of second TWU campus in Richmond

Langley’s faith-based Trinity Western University opens a second campus in Richmond

Fraser Valley seniors’ home residents go without meds for a night due to staff shortage

Residents speak out about staff shortages that are leading to serious safety concerns

B.C. lawyer, professor look to piloting a mental-health court

In November, Nova Scotia’s mental-health court program marked 10 years of existence

COLUMN: Not an expert on First Nations government structures? Then maybe you should calm down

Consider your knowledge about First Nations governance structures before getting really, really mad

Most Read