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This article was published 23/2/2011 (4111 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
WINNIPEG - A former Manitoba Hells Angel who claimed house arrest was unfairly cramping his lifestyle has won the right to add some free time to his sentence.
Michael Bandusiak appeared in court earlier this year seeking to have terms of his community-based penalty relaxed to allow him time to take trips to the gym, shop and watch his kids play basketball.
Queen’s Bench Justice Lea Duval said Wednesday she was giving Bandusiak three hours of personal time every week – but with certain limitations. He is only allowed to attend Polo Park Shopping Centre and Superstore in order to attend to issues such as shopping, banking and haircuts. Any other side trips would result in an arrest for breaching his sentence.
Crown attorney Erin Magas had fought Bandusiak’s bid for any exemptions, saying he had already received one lucky break from the justice system.
"I'm very concerned he considers this nothing more than an annoyance to his personal life," Magas told court last month.
Bandusiak was convicted last year of several charges, including possession for the purpose of trafficking, possession of proceeds of crime and dangerous driving. The Crown was originally seeking a three-year prison term, while Bandusiak argued such a penalty would be cruel to his children.
"I feel like I've changed my life 100 per cent," Bandusiak told court at the time. He said he is deeply involved in the lives of his three young children and doesn't want to be taken away from them.
Queen's Bench Justice Lea Duval gave Bandusiak a two-year conditional sentence, which includes a 24-hour curfew for the first 12 months. His only exceptions to leave the house were for work, medical and legal appointments, pre-approved visits with his children and anything else his sentence supervisor approves.
Bandusiak now says he is having a difficult time living under the conditions, especially since he is now living alone after separating from the mother of his children.
"He is supposed to find this difficult. It's a jail sentence being served in the community," Magas argued last month.
Bandusiak originally tried to fight his charges at trial last year, claiming Winnipeg police trampled his legislated rights. Defence lawyer Barry Sinder argued two officers unfairly targeted Bandusiak because of his known gang affiliation, then breached his charter rights with an illegal stop, search and seizure.
Sgt. Sean Black told court he was working as a plainclothes detective on the afternoon of Sept. 21, 2006 when he and his partner spotted Bandusiak driving past them through the North End and recognized him as having previous links to organized crime.
Although Bandusiak was obeying all traffic laws, Black said they decided to stop him and activated the lights on their unmarked police car, but Bandusiak sped away. After catching up with Bandusiak, police searched the vehicle without obtaining a warrant and found a rock of cocaine, cellphones and some cash.
Bandusiak ultimately changed his plea to guilty.
Mike McIntyre grew up wanting to be a professional wrestler. But when that dream fizzled, he put all his brawn into becoming a professional writer.