News from the courthouse.

News from the courthouse.

More time for Penticton man after jailhouse attack

Christian Leggatt, 21, pleaded guilty in Kamloops provincial court on Wednesday to assault causing bodily harm for his part in a beating.

  • Jun. 30, 2016 5:00 a.m.

Tim Petruk

Black Press

A two-on-one jailhouse fight — part of what was described in court as “an epidemic of violence” at Kamloops Regional Correctional Centre — has earned a South Okanagan man nine additional months behind bars.

Christian Leggatt, 21, pleaded guilty in Kamloops provincial court on Wednesday to assault causing bodily harm for his part in a beating last year that left another inmate with broken bones and two puncture wounds to his face.(Read more: two air pistol shooting incidents)

On July 1, 2015, Leggatt was serving a three-month jail sentence at KRCC for assault and weapons convictions stemming from an incident in Penticton four months earlier where he got into an altercation and he shot an air pistol hitting a man. A second incident involved a verbal argument when Leggatt fired the air pistol in a threatening manner.

The court heard this week that Leggatt and another prisoner, Trent Swampy, were tasked with beating a third inmate, Jonathan Phillips.

Crown prosecutor Joel Gold said Leggatt and Swampy approached Phillips in their unit and began attacking him. Phillips was left with a broken nose and hand, as well as puncture wounds near one of his eyes.

No weapon was found, but Gold said the wounds were not caused by a fist.

“There was no provocation, there appears to have been a weapon and it was two-on-one,” he said.

Defence lawyer Don Campbell said Leggatt took part in the attack on Phillips, his friend, to protect himself from potential harm from others in the unit.

“He really wasn’t given much choice by the people on the unit,” Campbell said. “It was a situation where they said, ‘We’ve selected this person, he’s going to get beat up, you’re going to do it.’

“This is something he was directed to do. He’s a small person trying to survive in a toxic environment.”

Campbell said the assault is part of “an epidemic of violence” at KRCC.

“It’s significantly more than we’ve seen in past years,” he said. “It’s quite troubling and I suspect it’s quite troubling to the institution as well.”

Court heard Leggatt was disciplined internally by KRCC staff, ordered to spend 25 days in solitary confinement and another 55 days in 23-hour lockup.

He was released from KRCC in September and returned to Penticton. In February, he was charged in relation to the jailhouse beating and re-arrested.

Swampy pleaded guilty at an earlier date and was handed a six-month jail sentence. Given Leggatt’s record, Gold asked for nine months in jail while Campbell pitched a sentence of seven months time served.

“I’m really not a bad person,” Leggatt said in court.

“I’m trying to be a father to my baby right now and that’s my No. 1 goal. I feel like I’ve repaid my debt to society with time served and I should be released.”

Harrison sided with the Crown, ordering Leggatt to spend nine months in jail, followed by a term of probation.

He was also handed a 10-year firearms prohibition and ordered to surrender a sample of his DNA to a national criminal database.

 

Just Posted

57-year-old Kathleen Richardson was discovered deceased in her home Wednesday, June 9, 2021. Her death is considered a homicide and connected to the slain brothers found on a Naramata forest road. (Submitted)
Naramata community in shock as condolences pour in for homicide victim Kathy Richardson

Richardson was well liked in the community, a volunteer firefighter with a home-based salon

Princeton GSAR responds 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. In 2020 the crew was called out 34 times, and members spent 721 hours on calls, and 683 hours training. Photo Princeton GSAR Facebook
Teen missing in Manning Park found after 24 hours

Young man spends night on mountain and survives with just a few scrapes

The RCMP are asking for assistance regarding the death of Kathleen Richardson of Naramata, pictured here. Her death is believed to be related to two homicides in Naramata in May. (RCMP)
Suspected Naramata homicide victim identified by police

57-year-old Kathleen Richardson was discovered deceased in her home Wednesday

(File photo)
Reports of aggressive deer in Penticton prompt warning from city

Expect female deer to be more aggressive over the next two months

(File photo)
Mobile drop-in vaccination clinic coming to Oliver

All those in the Oliver area who have not yet received their first dose are eligible for the vaccine

Dr. Albert de Villiers, chief medical health officer for the Interior Health Authority. (Contributed)
Black Press Media Weekly Roundup: Top headlines this week

Here’s a summary of this week’s biggest stories from the Okanagan-Shuswap

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of June 13 to 19

Flag Day, Garbage Man Day, International Panic Day all coming up this week

British Columbia-Yukon Community News Association’s 2021 Ma Murray Awards were handed out during a virtual ceremony on Friday, June 10. (Screen grab)
Black Press Media winners take gold at B.C. and Yukon journalism awards

Publications received nods in dozens of categories

Fair-goers take a ride at the 120th annual Armstrong Interior Provincial Exhibition and Stampede Aug. 28-Sept. 1, 2019. (Katherine Peters - Morning Star)
Armstrong’s IPE not eligible for COVID-19 grant designed for major attractions

Shuswap MLA Greg Kyllo criticized the rigidity of the provincial program’s criteria

Two e-scooters parked on the sidewalk along Water Street in downtown Kelowna on Monday, May 3. Scooters parked on walkways are causing accessibility issues for some people with disabilities. (Michael Rodriguez/Capital News)
Kelowna General Hospital clinicians observe increase in e-scooter injuries

A report is set to go to city council next week on how the e-scooter pilot has gone thus far

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets campers while visiting McDougall, Ont. on Thursday, July 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
71% of B.C. men say they’d prefer to go camping with Trudeau: survey

Most British Columbians with plans to go camping outdoors say they’d prefer to go with Trudeau or Shania Twain

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps off Vancouver Island

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

Chilliwack cocaine trafficker Clayton Eheler seen with a tiger somewhere in Asia in 2014. Eheler was sentenced to nine years jail in 2018, but was released on bail in October 2020 pending his appeal of conviction.(Facebook)
Director of civil forfeiture seeks $140,000 from Fraser Valley drug dealer’s father-in-law

Clayton Eheler’s father-in-law Ray Morrissey caught with money in Fort St. John by B.C.’s gang unit

A Comox Valley shellfish operator pleaded guilty and was fined $10,000 in provincial court in Courtenay earlier this year. Record file photo
B.C. clam harvester fined $10,000 for Fisheries Act violations

Charges against three others were stayed in Courtenay Provincial Court

Most Read