Judge says trial ‘one of the most aggravating cases’ ever

Steve Sharratt comment@theguardian.pe.ca
Published on February 27, 2016

Chief provincial court judge Nancy Orr.

©Submitted photo

Lisa Dawn Vessey gets 15-day jail term in relationship disputes with many twists, turns

GEORGETOWN – A nurse who broke probation to meet a former companion in a secluded spot – only to be discovered by conservation officers – was sentenced to jail in provincial court recently.

Lisa Dawn Vessey was handed the 15-day jail term after pleading guilty to the charge of “abetting”, despite protests from her lawyer that she had been a victim in a case that has been full of twists and turns for the past year.

“This is one of the most aggravating cases I’ve ever seen,’’ said Chief Judge Nancy Orr, who was less than sympathic to the accused.

Orr pointed out a number of times when the alleged victim had called police about situations involving a man she had been in a relationship with and then disappeared when they arrived.

Crown prosecutor Nathan Beck said Vessey was charged last Oct. 28 when she had contact and broke a probation order not to see a man who has since been sentenced to jail for a number of charges.

“She was in a relationship with this individual, and it has been an ongoing issue since 2014,’’ said Beck.

Court was told the man was out of jail at the time and despite the stay away order, the pair agreed to meet at the Mellish Pond dam in New Perth, near Pooles Corner.

“She was aware of the outcome of the meeting should she be discovered,’’ insisted Beck.

And she was discovered.

The woman and her companion were discovered when two conservation officers, who had spotted two cars parked at the end of the road, decided to make a check stop and found a blanket spread on the ground.

“The woman was found hiding in the woods, and the officers were told by the man they were just having coffee,’’ said Beck.

The accused eventually came out of the woods, and both displayed nervous behaviour. That led the conservation officers to contact police.

“She was a victim in all of this,’’ said defense lawyer Brendan Hubley. “She was sympathetic (to him) and regrets her actions.”

Court was told Vessey had been the victim of assault, a break and enter and probation breaches during earlier encounters with the individual.

“She’s called police and then hasn’t co-operated,’’ said Orr in her recollections of past court appearances involving the man who was eventually jailed for four months.

Orr pointed out other occasions in which Vessey helped the man breach probation and was a factor in some of the charges being laid, such as assault and property damage.

“The police are not a babysitting service,’’ she said.

To ensure she could maintain employment, Orr sentenced Vessey according to her hospital shift work schedule. She will serve the 15 days of jail time on her days off over the next two months.

She was also handed 12 months of probation and ordered to perform 30 hours of community service.