A 40-year-old man a judge refused to send to a federal prison forced sheriffs to take him to the ground Tuesday in a provincial courtroom after an outburst when he didn’t get the sentence he was asking for.
Mark Adam MacKinnon appeared before Judge John Douglas in Charlottetown where he was sentenced to 18 months in jail on multiple charges including thefts and breaches of probation.
The proceedings started with MacKinnon entering guilty pleas on several charges, followed by Crown attorney Lisa Goulden reading details of a string of thefts that included stealing items from grocery stores and liquor from the Old Triangle in Charlottetown.
MacKinnon breached several court orders by committing those offences and he failed to show up for court earlier this month when he was scheduled to be sentenced.
As he stood at the defence table in handcuffs, MacKinnon said his father is dying of cancer and was given about two or three weeks to live.
He asked for an intermittent sentence on some of the charges so he could go to his father’s wake and funeral if he dies.
MacKinnon said he planned to ask for federal time on the rest of the charges because he would have access to better programs in prison.
Douglas refused MacKinnon’s request and referred to an update that was provided to the court which said his father was fine and still working.
“You say it’s two weeks and I don’t believe you,” Douglas said.
The update from MacKinnon’s father said the only peace he gets is when his son is in jail.
MacKinnon’s father also said his son doesn’t care that he’s sick and needs a sentence of a year or more in jail.
Douglas told MacKinnon it would have been nice if he had thought about his father before going out and stealing.
“You weren’t thinking about your father then,” Douglas said.
Because sentences of less than two years are served in a provincial jail, MacKinnon asked Douglas to increase it to allow him to serve federal time.
Douglas denied that request.
“It’s not about your convenience,” he said.
MacKinnon has a long criminal record with about 120 or 130 charges, Douglas said.
“You’re a public nuisance.”
After Douglas ignored further pleas and a pledge from MacKinnon that he would get more charges so his sentence would be longer, the sentencing continued.
MacKinnon then lunged forward as he tried to lift the defence table, flung a large wooden podium onto the floor, sent a microphone flying and knocked over items on the nearby clerk’s desk.
The outburst continued as two sheriffs tried to subdue MacKinnon, took him to the floor and held him down in the middle of the courtroom while the lawyers on both sides moved to safety.
MacKinnon cursed and struggled with the two sheriffs who were soon joined by four more before they removed him from the courtroom.
Douglas finished the sentencing despite the outburst and gave MacKinnon two years of probation.
He also ordered MacKinnon to pay more than $1,500 in restitution.