Controversial judge faces assault charge

Corrin accused of attacking mother during dispute


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A Manitoba judge who is no stranger to controversy has been accused of attacking his mother during a dispute inside a River Heights home.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 26/02/2011 (4233 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

A Manitoba judge who is no stranger to controversy has been accused of attacking his mother during a dispute inside a River Heights home.

Brian Corrin was arrested Thursday and charged with assault and uttering threats. Chief provincial court Judge Ken Champagne announced Friday Corrin has been put on administrative leave, pending his ongoing criminal case.

Justice sources told the Free Press Corrin is on vacation and his status will be reviewed upon his return, expected next month. He has been released on a promise to appear in court at a later date. The allegations have not been proven and he is presumed innocent.

Const. Jason Michalyshen didn’t provide further details of what the alleged assault entailed, saying the incident was considered to be “family violence.” Police said it happened on Feb. 20 and the victim suffered minor injuries to her upper body.

“(When any) public figure, whether it be a police officer or any other public figure is involved or has been arrested or charged, we want to be as transparent as possible with regards to our investigations,” said Michalyshen.

Corrin, 65, was elected a city councillor in 1974 and an NDP MLA in 1977. He was named a provincial court judge in 1988.

He didn’t return an email message seeking comment Friday. It is not known if he has retained legal counsel.

Corrin has previously come under fire for his conduct inside various courtrooms.

He was convicted in 1996 of seven counts of professional misconduct and was suspended without pay for 30 days. He was also ordered by a judicial panel to write an essay on what it means to be a good judge.

Corrin was found by the panel to have acted with “arrogance and an over-inflated sense of his role” stemming from a high-profile incident in which he failed to return to court for a drunk-driving trial while his car was being repaired. The charges included offering to personally pay the fees of an expert Crown witness to cover the delay, making disparaging comments to three Crown attorneys and disregarding the rights of an accused.

In 2007, the Manitoba Court of Appeal twice rebuked Corrin for his actions during criminal cases. In the first example, the high court ruled Corrin used “inappropriate stereotypes” to consider the case of a young suburban teen who pleaded guilty to a drug-fuelled robbery spree.

In the second case, the same court found Corrin had “embellished” evidence presented to him by lawyers and handed down an illegal sentence in a case involving a Winnipeg university student who damaged 13 red-light cameras during a year-long vandalism spree.

Former Chief Justice Richard Scott pulled no punches in assessing the judge’s handling of the case, which included Corrin’s lengthy lecture about the man’s “political agenda” as a “personal tyranny… putting at risk the delicate compromise of democratic governance that has evolved in Canada since its formation as a country.”

“The judge inappropriately embellished the circumstances before the court beyond the particular facts placed in evidence,” Scott wrote in the appeal court’s decision. Scott said Corrin was wrong to suggest Gavin was “the principal player in what he seemed to see as a domestic terrorist organization.” The appeal court also criticized Corrin for refusing to allow lawyers to make further submissions when it was clear he was going to reject their proposed sentences.


SEmD with files from Gabrielle Giroday

Mike McIntyre

Mike McIntyre
Sports columnist

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.

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