Christmas came early this year for Linda Gibbons, Ontario’s pro-life prisoner of conscience.

On Dec. 14, 1999, Linda was found guilty of one count of obstructing a peace officer and two counts of breaking probation, stemming from her peaceful pro-life witness within the government’s no-protest “bubble-zone” outside Toronto’s Scott abortuary Oct. 15, 1999. The convictions were “routine” for the woman who has spent most of the last five years in prison for repeatedly engaging in sidewalk counselling outside the clinic. What was different, and encouraging, this time around was that the presiding judge, Judge E.J. Hachborn, sentenced her to only one day in jail for each of her three convictions.

Having spent the last two months in Metro West Detention Centre awaiting trial, Gibbons had already more than served the sentences, and was released after the Dec. 14 trial.

Crown attorney E. Moscovitz had asked for an especially stiff sentence of one year to eighteen months. Most often Gibbons is sentenced to a six-month term.