|Kelsea Joy Hepburn (C) hides from media and is shielded by supporters as she leaves the Calgary Courts Centre in Calgary, Alberta February 15, 2013. (Jim Wells/QMI Agency)
CALGARY -- With several supporters crying and one repeatedly yelling "no" through sobs, former Calgary ringette coach Kelsea Joy Hepburn began serving an 18 month sentence Thursday.
Justice Paul Jeffrey said there were enough aggravating factors to justify a sentence in the 18- to 24-month range sought by the Crown for Hepburn's abuse of a young female player.
One female friend was so inconsolable she had to be led from the courtroom, before collapsing to the floor in a hallway.
"No, no, no, no," the woman ranted, after Jeffrey rejected a defence bid which would have seen Hepburn serve time on weekends.
Defence counsel Maureen McConaghy had sought a term of 45 to 90 days on charges of sexual interference and invitation to sexual touching.
But Jeffrey said such a term would not serve justice for the victim, nor adequately punish Hepburn for her crimes.
Imposing such a term "would trivialize the continuing struggles of the victim," the judge said.