B.C.’s prosecution service says the former mayor of Burns Lake has been sentenced to two years less a day for sexual offences involving four boys under the age of 16. Luke Strimbold, then mayor, addresses the media during a news conference in Burns Lake on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Crown won’t appeal sentence in child sex assault case of former Burns Lake mayor

B.C. Prosecution Service said sentence doesn’t meet standard for appeal

Crown counsel will not appeal the sentence in the case of a former Burns Lake mayor who admitted to sexually assaulting boys under the age of 16.

In December, Luke Strimbold was sentenced to two years minus a day after pleading guilty to two counts of sex assault, and one count each of sexual interference and invitation to sexual touching, stemming from incidents between 2009 and 2017. He was initially charged with 29 counts.

An online petition, launched by a Prince George man, asked the B.C. government to appeal what he called a “light” sentence. The petition had 2,700 names as of Friday morning.

But the case doesn’t fit the province’s policy involving unfit sentences, said Dan McLaughlin, B.C. Prosecution Service spokesperson, in an email to Black Press Media.

“The policy notes that, generally, a sentence will only be considered unfit if it is clearly below the acceptable range of sentence and not merely at the low end of the acceptable range,” McLaughlin said.

During the hearing, Crown prosecutor Richard Peck had argued for a four- to six-year sentence, pointing to the importance of denunciation and deterrence in cases where children are involved.

He acknowledged Strimbold’s early guilty plea and lack of criminal record, but said the minimum for each count should be 12 to 18 months based on case law.

READ MORE: Former Burns Lake mayor pleads guilty to four sex assault charges

Defence counsel Stanley Tessmer argued that at the time of the offences, Strimbold did not recognize that what he was doing was wrong because of his own history of sexual abuse, repressed homosexuality and addiction to alcohol.

He said his client had since undergone extensive counselling. A psychological report said the former mayor was a low risk to reoffend.

Strimbold himself gave a tearful apology at the sentencing hearing, saying he will “forever be regretful” for his actions.

“In this case, Mr. Peck concluded that while the sentence was low, he was unable to find that it was unfit, particularly given the judge’s emphasis on the mitigating circumstances, the offender’s prospects for rehabilitation, and the broad deference shown to sentencing judges by appellate courts,” McLaughlin said in the email.

Strimbold also received two years’ probation and a ban from working with young people for five years. He will also be placed on the sex offender registry.

– with files from Thom Barker with Smithers Interior News


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Chilliwack baby is the pancake poster child for provincewide fundraiser

Face of one-year-old patient Sauyer Bell is who IHOP chose for its BC Children’s Hospital fundraiser

Residential Tenancy Branch won’t allow B.C. landlord to evict tenant even though he’s in jail

Landlord baffled at arbitrator decision based on notice of hearing not being served properly

From the Chilliwack Progress Archives: Central public school principal paints a bleak picture

In 1925, the principal of a Chilliwack school had strong words for a class of Grade 8 students

Fraser Valley couple wins $500K after finding scratch-and-win while moving

  • Robert Walters and Lois Gueret of Agassiz win half a million from Scratch & Win ticket

Stolen truck recovered by RCMP after it was used to commit crimes

Older red Chevy S10 was linked to thefts last weekend from rural and industrial areas of Chilliwack

Protecting privacy key to stopping spread of COVID-19, B.C. health officials say

The number of coronavirus cases in B.C. remains at seven

Toffoli scores OT winner as Canucks beat Habs 4-3

Demko makes 37 saves for Vancouver

Private clinics would harm ‘ordinary’ people using public system in B.C.: lawyer

Health Minister Adrian Dix announced in 2018 that the government would begin to fine doctors $10,000

B.C. terminates contract with hospice society refusing assisted death

Delta Hospice Society loses hospital service fund of $1.5 million

Child in hospital following fatal crash that killed father, sibling on B.C. highway

The single vehicle crash occured near Kamloops on Highway 5A

‘Die!’: Vernon councillor mailed death threat

This story contains information that might be sensitive to some readers

Hidden message connects Castlegar homeowners decades apart

The Rodgers family was surprised when a message fell out of the walls as they were renovating

Two B.C. men plead guilty to bus-terminal assault of man with autism in Ontario

Parmvir Chahil and Jaspaul Uppal due to be sentenced in June for aggravated assault

Most Read