Sentencing for West Kelowna robberies delayed

Report about the background of accused wasn't requested when Richard Werner pleaded guilty in August.

  • Nov. 14, 2013 4:00 p.m.

Sentencing for a man who admitted to committing three robberies a year ago has been delayed.

Crown counsel David Grabavac asked to adjourn Richard Werner’s sentencing on Thursday morning because a pre-sentence report wasn’t ordered after Werner pleaded guilty in August.

“It defies logic to me why it wasn’t done,” said Grabavac. “Again, I apologize to the court.”

Another prosecutor had originally been handling the file, Grabavac told the judge, but his schedule wasn’t taken into consideration when Thursday’s sentencing date was set.

Grabavac, who was assigned the file because the other prosecutor wasn’t available Thursday, said he couldn’t effectively present a sentencing position because without the pre-sentence report he didn’t know enough about the background of Werner and what role his 2002 brain injury may have played in the commission of the crimes.

Defence lawyer Gavin Jones said the brain injury “certainly is a factor” in the offences, prompting the judge to request a pre-sentence report with a psychiatric component be prepared as soon as possible.

Jones also requested efforts be made to expedite the sentencing, as Werner is in 23 hour lockup. Because of that, Jones will be asking for enhanced credit for the time Werner serves in custody prior to sentencing.

Werner, 37, admitted in August to three counts of robbery and two counts of disguising his face with the intent to commit an offence.

He was arrested Nov. 20, 2012, after West Kelowna RCMP received a report of a robbery that occurred at The Wine Store, located at 2130 Louie Drive.

He is also responsible for a Nov. 15, 2012 robbery at a West Kelowna Tim Horton’s and a holdup two days earlier at the West Kelowna Liquor Depot.

Werner returns to court Dec. 12 to set a new date for sentencing.

By Cheryl Wierda, Capital News contributor


Kelowna Capital News