September 5, 2012
Violent prisoner gets one-day sentence
By Sam Pazzano, QMI Agency
TORONTO - A Superior Court judge handed a violent prisoner a one-day sentence Wednesday for assaulting two Toronto cops after they tied up him up "like an animal" as they flew on an RCMP aircraft from Calgary to Toronto.
"He was tied up like an animal for almost four hours. The police conduct was demeaning and unnecessary," Judge Gary Trotter said as sentenced Christopher Alexander, who had been convicted of head-butting Det. Lorne Bragg and spitting on Det.-Const. Sajeev Nair on Feb. 11, 2011.
The judge said he substantially reduced the sentence against Alexander, 29, because of the charter violations committed by the officers. Trotter gave Alexander credit for only three months of pre-trial custody on a one-for-one basis.
"It was high-handed conduct, which the officers seemed to make light of both in their notes and in their testimony," Trotter said, noting the officers wrapped the extension cord around Alexander's head to prevent him from spitting.
While Alexander showed contempt for the officers, they shouldn't have stooped to his lowly level, Trotter said.
"Much more is expected of officers than this humiliating and abusive conduct," Trotter said.
He rejected defence lawyer Magda Wyszomierska's request for a discharge, saying it wasn't appropriate. The judge also refused to impose the penitentiary sentence urged by Crown attorney Glen Brotherston.
Alexander was being transported from Calgary to Toronto on a nationwide warrant after being accused of opening fire on a security guard inside a packed Fairview Mall in north Toronto in September 2010 over a stolen bottle of cologne.
While in a holding cell in Calgary, Alexander yanked a bolted steel stool from a cement floor and used it to batter a door.
Trotter said the officers could have been considering the prisoner's actions in Calgary as they tried controlling the powerful prisoner on the small plane.
Alexander was restrained with belly-chains and leg-shackles, and secured to his airplane seat.
But he somehow removed his spit-mask and was spitting at Nair. Bragg tried unsuccessfully to put the mask back on from behind.
Bragg's face was bruised by Alexander, who thrust his head backwards.
Both officers punched Alexander into submission and then wrapped a 50-foot electrical cord around his mouth and behind his head to stop him from spitting, court heard.
Alexander will go on trial for the Fairview Mall shooting later this month.