Sunday January 25, 2015

Man involved in Barriere standoff given conditional sentence

A 30-hour armed standoff that forced evacuation of a Barriere neighbourhood last winter resulted in a conditional sentence being handed down in provincial court.

Judge Chris Cleaveley told Jordan Leader that he’d expected Crown to seek a lengthy jail term when the case went to court late Thursday.

Crown, however, took into consideration Leader’s past. He has no criminal record and has come to accept he has a problem with alcohol and needs counselling.

The incident erupted late on Feb. 18, when Leader’s partner knocked on the door of an off-duty RCMP officer. She told the officer Leader was disobeying a court order requiring him to leave her presence if she requested.

When police attended the home, Leader did not answer the door. With his partner’s permission, they entered and found him seated in the garage with a long gun pointed at his throat. He refused to drop the weapon, so they withdrew to summon an emergency response team and police negotiator.

With other homes in close proximity, police felt the public was endangered, so they evacuated the neighbourhood. When Leader surrendered, he was belligerent.

Defence counsel Jeremy Jensen said there is no evidence Leader has a psychiatric disorder, but he initially denied his alcohol problem. Leader’s father was alcoholic and he didn’t want to follow in his footsteps, he said.

Leader has apologized to his neighbours, but feels so ashamed that he seldom leaves his house. The man is undergoing counselling.

His six-month conditional sentence order includes a four-month curfew and a no-contact order with his former partner and her child. He cannot consume alcohol, is forbidden to possess weapons for five years and must complete 40 hours of community service.

The two weapons seized by police, which did not belong to Leader, will be forfeited by the Crown for destruction.

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