Nine pro-life activists are awaiting sentencing after being found guilty of public mischief at an abortion clinic in Halifax in October 1992.
However, a bizarre twist to the case occurred when the judge who gave the guilty verdict was admitted to a psychiatric ward of a local hospital after overdosing on prescription medicine.
The pro-lifers have not been told whether he will be available for their sentencing which is scheduled for April 28.
Provincial Court Judge Albert Bremmer had made his written decision prior to his overdose. He was not present when the decision was given to the Crown and defence lawyers.
At the time the decision was given, the lawyer representing the pro-lifers discovered the reason for the absence of the judge. In his written decision, Bremmer said he sis not accept the defence of necessity which the defendants used. The pro-lifers had admitted their actions but argued that they were necessary to defend the right to life of unborn children.
“Defences in a criminal proceeding are limited to legal considerations,” Judge Bremmer wrote in his brief decision. He said that arguing the actions were necessary was not a suitable defence.
On October 21, 1992 the defendants attempted to block the stairwell leading into the clinic and had placed cinder blocks across the driveway into the parking lot.
The nine defendants are: Kenneth Biso, Paul Cheverie, Ann Marie Tomlins, Noreen Moser, Pauline Mullen, Sharon Keddy, Anne Ashford-Hall, Ellen Chesal and Paul Moore.