Manslaughter sentencing delayed five months

NEW WESTMINSTER – A B.C. Supreme Court judge wants the Ministry of Justice to explain why crucial reports for a manslaughter sentencing hearing in New Westminster on Thursday (Dec. 18) weren’t ready in time for the Crown and defence to form their arguments.The sentencing hearing, as a consequence, has been delayed for five months.Beatrice Thomas, 38, of North Delta was tried for second-degree murder but found guilty of manslaughter on July 11, for the July 3, 2011 stabbing death of her 37-year-old common-law husband Quannah O’Soup. He was killed during a domestic fight in a tiny half-duplex the couple rented in North Delta.Thomas was to be sentenced Thursday. The ministry had five months since her conviction to prepare a Gladue report, which Canadian courts consider prior to sentencing aboriginal offenders.Crown prosecutor Christopher McPherson told Justice Trevor Armstrong he received an "inadequate pre-sentence report," without a full Gladue, late Wednesday afternoon."We aren’t ready to proceed today," a frustrated McPherson told the court, noting this wasn’t a mere shoplifting case, but one involving manslaughter. "This is simply not acceptable."Defence lawyer Victoria Desroches launched into a selfdescribed "rant" over the matter. "Crown cannot give me their sentencing position without being fully informed," she said. "At the end of the day, nothing is going to be achieved today," she added. "All someone had to do was their job."All of Thursday was reserved for the hearing, which has now been adjourned to May 29, 2015.Desroches noted that the court can’t pass sentence in a vacuum, "and that’s essentially what we have."The judge added that all necessary reports must be provided to court officials by April 29. Thomas remains on bail.

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