Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION
Posted: 06/27/2013 4:17 PM
He tried to burn the hair of a Jewish student in a racially motivated attack that happened inside their high school. Now lingering concerns about the mental health of a Winnipeg teen have forced a delay in his sentencing hearing.
The 17-year-old -- who can't be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act – appeared in court Thursday expecting to learn his punishment. But provincial court Judge Tim Preston instead ordered a forensic psychiatric report, saying details contained in a different pre-sentence report had raised some red flags to him.
The assessment is expected to take at least two months, meaning the sentencing likely won’t occur until the fall.
The youth recently pleaded guilty to a charge of assault with a weapon (a lighter) for the November 2011 incident at Oak Park High School that made headlines across the country.
The boy also uttered anti-Semitic slurs toward the 15-year-old and previously had Nazi and skinhead links, according to sources.
There is a rarely used section of the Criminal Code that pertains to hate crimes, where a person could be charged with public incitement of hatred for "communicating statements in any public place" that lead to inciting "hatred against any identifiable group where such incitement is likely to lead to a breach of the peace."
Senior Manitoba justice officials had considered laying such a charge but ultimately decided against it.
The girl suffered no serious physical injury after the ends of her hair were singed by the lighter. School officials only became aware of the attack when she told a school counsellor three days later. The accused was immediately suspended and eventually withdrew from the Charleswood-area school.
Following the crime, the accused took to his public Facebook page and posted a photo of himself wearing a shirt with a slogan relating he loves "haters." One of the boy's friends, a young woman, posted her support for him on his Facebook page.
The teen's Facebook page was also filled with other vulgarities, including repeated use of a derogatory term for homosexuals.
"I have been doing policing for upwards of a couple of decades and don't think I've ever seen an incident like this," police Const. Rob Carver told the Free Press at the time.
The accused has been free on bail since his arrest.
A recent B'nai Brith study showed incidents of anti-Semitism increased 3.7 per cent across Canada in 2012, and 30 per cent internationally. In Manitoba, the number of reported cases of anti-Semitism dropped to 56 cases in 2012 compared with 78 cases in 2011.
Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories? Please use the form below and let us know.
Having problems with the form?Contact Us Directly
Premier Selinger facing potential revolt within NDP
Teen charged in connection to high school fire
Jets no match for Lightning
LIVE: Churchill polar-bear cam
Slain soldier rides Highway of Heroes home
Games should remind us of what Canada is all about
Police seek girls, 11 and 14, last seen Thursday
School gunman was Homecoming prince, students say
All-Time Blue Bombers Team sees Leo Lewis cloned to play 2 positions
Bipole III the 'biggest boondoggle in Manitoba history': Pallister
'Nobody's going to believe her': defence lawyer on accused in dead infants case
Key of Bart: Choose Yourself
Bombers prepare for Saturday's crucial game against B.C. Lions
City paramedics take special Ebola precautions four times
Automotive Journalists' Association gives nod to Free Press writer
Echoes of the Cold War
Questions, answers about Takata air bag recalls
Man missing in Pembina Valley Provincial Park
Inquests called into prison deaths
City police checking in on kids' hockey this winter
Ukraine teeters on brink of revolution
Powder-filled envelope at consulate in Turkey
Maddin's 'My Winnipeg' gets Criterion treatment
Tickets to One Direction on sale Nov. 1
'Growler bars' for draft beer now in Manitoba
Result shocks Bowman
Jets can reset their season now after an awkward, fumbling start
Missing girl, 16, believed to be travelling west
Ouellette's star still on the rise
First Nation brings Hydro protest to HQ
Björk's human nature shines through multimedia overload
China launches experimental moon orbiter
Bill Murray’s reliable grumpiness gives sharp edge to sentimental premise
U.K. firm to design this year's pop-up eatery
Sweden calls off search for submarine
Man alleged to have gun on bus remanded
Warm today, but chance of flurries next week
Fletcher told caregiver to run for it, if she could