The Kelvington Chronicle is back in business after its publisher was released from custody on a six-month conditional sentence.
Kathryn Wade pleaded guilty in Yorkton court September 27 to assaulting a police officer, harassment and being unlawfully in a dwelling house, as well as, several counts of failing to comply with a condition of an undertaking.
The original charges stemmed from an incident in April after victims complained to police about 12 harassing messages left by Wade on their voicemail. According to prosecutor Todd Wellsch, when RCMP arrived at her residence Wade was intoxicated and rude. When the officer tried to handcuff her, she slapped the officer the Court heard.
After her release on conditions of non-contact with the victims and abstaining from consuming alcohol, the Crown outlined a litany of further incidents of harassment throughout the spring and summer and failing to comply with conditions ultimately culminating with her re-arrest in September.
Wellsch noted that while Wade had no prior criminal record aggravating circumstances included the numerous family and community members she harassed, the fact that she refused to accept she had a problem with alcohol and that she abused her position as publisher of the local newspaper to bully people.
Nevertheless, in a joint submission with defence attorney Thomas Campbell, the Crown recommended the six-month conditional sentence with 12 months probation to follow.
Although bound by the Court of Appeals to accept joint submissions if they are reasonable, Judge Patrick Koskie questioned the appropriateness of the recommendation saying he had to “have the belief she is not going to commit another offence,” in order to pass a sentence to be served in the community.
Wellsch replied that a psychiatric evaluation indicated Wade’s issue was not psychological, but a problem with alcohol.
Campbell called on the compassion of the Court for the Chronicle employees, whose livelihood would be impacted by a custodial sentence.
He also argued that while Wade had been so far undeterred from reoffending and breaching Court orders, the threat of certain incarceration under a conditional sentence would be a reliable deterrent. He said his client whatever is necessary in order to abide by the sentence.
Koskie was unconvinced, saying he was “dubiously doing this” in accepting the joint recommendation.
“You’re obviously at a crossroads; I hope you pick the right road,” Koskie said and warned her that if she failed to comply she would definitely wind up in jail.
In her own defence, Wade said she completely understood and was absolutely committed to complying.
In addition to the standard conditions of keeping the peace and being of good behaviour, Wade is required to abide by a 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. curfew for the first three months; have no direct or indirect contact with six victims; abstain from consuming alcohol; participate in mental health and alcoholism assessment and treatment as required by her probation officer; and not publish any article or editorial about the victims or the RCMP except stories about the RCMP restricted to the facts about a case or court proceeding.