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Update: P.E.I. man gets 15 months for sex offences, but isn't going to jail just yet

Phillip Alexander Whittaker, 61, of Charlottetown leaves court Tuesday. He is to be sentenced later in November after pleading guilty last year to sexually assaulting a girl in 1993.  ©THE GUARDIAN/Jim Day
Phillip Alexander Whittaker of Charlottetown leaves court in this file photo.

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. - A P.E.I. man who pleaded guilty to two sex offences that involved a minor and dated back to the 1990s was sentenced Tuesday to 15 months in jail.

But, Philip Alexander Whittaker, 60, won’t be going to jail yet because a judge put off the final sentencing until after the accused undergoes a medical procedure.

Whittaker appeared before Judge John Douglas in provincial court in Charlottetown after previously pleading guilty to sexual interference and sexual assault.

The sentencing was delayed multiple times this year as Whittaker underwent cancer treatment and on Tuesday the court heard he is scheduled to have 14 teeth removed next week.

In sentencing Whittaker, Douglas said a pre-sentence report suggested he was a low risk to re-offend.

Whittaker, whose hair was thin and patchy, sat next to his lawyer at the defence table as he listened to Douglas’s decision, including a description of his prognosis as “grim.”

Related: P.E.I. man pleads guilty to sex offences from the 1990s

Douglas said Whittaker’s offences were very serious and called for a very serious sentence.

He also said it was complicated by Whittaker’s condition.

Douglas said Whittaker was already undergoing cancer treatment in Charlottetown and he didn’t believe sending him off-Island to serve his sentence would be appropriate.

Any sentence of two years or more would be served in a federal prison.

Douglas also said the provincial jail will be faced with “considerable logistical issues” with Whittaker’s medical situation.

Defence lawyer Thane MacEachern asked to have the final imposition of the sentence delayed because of Whittaker’s teeth extraction on Nov. 27.

Along with the jail time, Whittaker’s name will be added to the sex offender registry, he will be on probation for two years and he will be under a weapons prohibition.

Whittaker will also be banned from places where children younger than 16 could be expected to be present.

He will be back in court Nov. 30 to finish the sentencing.

Before leaving the courtroom after the matter adjourned, Whittaker briefly addressed Douglas.

“Thank you your honour,” he said. 

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