Crown to seek jail time for ‘narcissistic’ ex-politician Leaman

However, the former Penticton city councillor won't know until September if he's going away for a pair of sexual assaults

Gary Leaman arrives at the Penticton court house Monday afternoon for sentencing on two counts of sexual assault which he pleaded guilty to in January of this year.

Gary Leaman arrives at the Penticton court house Monday afternoon for sentencing on two counts of sexual assault which he pleaded guilty to in January of this year.

Inflated egos are common in people like Gary Leaman who have narcissistic personality disorders, a psychologist said Monday at the former Penticton city councillor’s sentencing hearing.

Leaman, 59, faces up to 18 months in jail on each of the two counts of sexual assault to which he pleaded guilty in January, but won’t learn his fate until the hearing resumes Sept. 12 in provincial court in Penticton.

Details of the offences are covered by a routine publication ban to shield the victims’ identities.

The forensic psychologist who prepared the pre-sentence report on Leaman told the court Monday that test results led her to conclude Leaman has a narcissistic personality disorder, traits of which include “limited empathy” and a “grandiose sense of self-importance.”

Leaman “may believe that he is special or unique and can only be understood by, or associate with, other special or high-status individuals or institutions,” explained Dr. Nalini Joneja.

“In such cases where he does not receive the special treatment, the positive reinforcement or the admiration to which he feels entitled, he’s likely to react with rage and contempt by attacking, degrading or belittling others.”

Defence counsel Michael Welsh spent an hour cross-examining Joneja regarding her report, including errors concerning where Leaman was born and attended college.

Leaman, wearing a goatee, yellow shirt, grey pants and a grey-and-black tie, then testified himself about the errors, and expanded on others elements of the report, such as a detail about him inviting a Buddhist monk to stay at his condominium at Apex Mountain.

Joneja suggested in her testimony that the invite may be evidence of Leaman seeking acceptance from a high-status individual, but Leaman disputed that.

The monk, he explained, is one with whom he’s been studying the religion in the Lower Mainland and who suffers from “severe concussion syndrome” that may be helped by staying at the quiet condo.

“It was simply a kind gesture,” Leaman said, adding, “I knew I was going to jail” and wouldn’t be using the home.

Crown counsellor Catherine Crockett told the court she will cross-examine Leaman when the hearing resumes in September. She has not yet stated her sentencing position, but told reporters she’ll be seeking jail time.

Judge Gale Sinclair told both Crockett and Welsh of his “displeasure” in learning the sentencing hearing would take longer than the scheduled half-day.

Leaman served one term as a Penticton city councillor from 2002 to 2005, but was not re-elected, and failed in two subsequent runs at municipal office.

He retired in October 2013 from his long-time job as manager of Cherry Lane Shopping Centre, and the charges were sworn in November.

Leaman remains free on $750 bail, but has surrendered his passport and agreed to stay within B.C.