Application for stay denied in Budnick trial

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Erica Fisher

Erica is a reporter for Moose FM and energeticcity.ca in Fort St. John, B.C. She grew up in Victoria, B.C. and received her Bachelor's Degree in Journalism from Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec.

Cranston argued that Budnick's rights under Section 11b of the Canadian Charter of Rights was breached by his waiting for 20 months to receive his sentence. Now that his necessary rehabilitation has been completed, Budnick wants to move on with his life, something he's finding difficult with his bail conditions, which include a curfew.

Budnick plead guilty to charges unlawful confinement, aggravated assault, assault with a weapon and uttering threats on the third day of his trial in October 2011. The Crown and defence prepared a joint recommendation for two years incarceration, in addition to the six months he had already served. The incident in question took place over two days in February 2011, when Budnick's ex-girlfriend, who will remain unnamed, was subjected to several hours of physical abuse.

Budnick was scheduled to be sentenced on February 8, 2012, which was postponed to allow him to receive further rehabilitation, without objection from the Crown. At his next court date on May 30, Cranston argued for a lesser sentence, but time ran out before all submissions could be completed.

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The main argument for delay comes from the next trial date which was scheduled for July 16, 2012. Cranston says he received notice on July 11 that the Crown Counsel Paul Swartz would not be able to attend that date. The next date made available by the courts was today, and Cranston says that making Budnick wait another three months is "unreasonable". In a letter, Budnick wrote, "I'm extremely disappointed Crown can make unilateral decisions that affect my life." The delay is being blamed both on the Crown and delays in the court system due to underfunding.

However, Swartz pointed out that over seven months of the delay were due to requests by the defence, which only benefited Budnick. No reason was given for his absence in July.

In the end, Judge Daley sided with Swartz, saying that once he took out the delays by the defence and other delays, he's left with just under 12 months, which is less than guidelines laid out by other cases. He also noted that Cranston's submissions in May were the lengthiest he's seen in the case of a joint submission. In the end he dismissed the stay application, saying he was not satisfied with the defence's evidence of delay, and did not render his sentence. A date will be set for another sentencing hearing.

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