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Medical issue postpones sentencing for Kelowna 'Freedom Fighter'

Kelowna protestor's sentencing postponed for medical emergency
David Lindsay (right) and two of his supporters outside the Kelowna Courthouse on March 1, 2023. (Jacqueline Gelineau/Capital News)

David Lindsay, a prominent figure in Kelowna's anti-COVID mandate protests and self-proclaimed 'Freedom Fighter' was due to be sentenced in court on July 10, after a long criminal trial. However, on the morning of the sentencing, Lindsay was absent from the courtroom. 

Instead, a representative told the court that Lindsay was unable to attend due to pain and was seeking medical care. 

Kelowna Crown Prosecutor David Grabavac told Capital News that it was helpful a person was able to notify the court, as it is important to make sure the judge is aware of the reasons for their absence.

The court noted the non-appearance and did not issue a bench warrant for Lindsay. 

Grabavac said a new sentencing date will be scheduled on Friday, July 12. 

Lindsay was convicted of two counts of assault on Dec. 13, after attempting to enter an Interior Health building during a protest in 2021. 

The prolific protest leader had previously been told that he was not permitted inside the building due to his involvement prior protests which allegedly caused intimidation of Interior Health staff, and his refusal to wear a mask. 

Lindsay has previously been labelled a "vexatious litigant" in the Supreme Court of B.C.

In addition to the two counts of assault for bumping into the security guard while trying to enter the building, Lindsay was also to be sentenced for a count of contempt. 

On the day he was convicted, Lindsay "dared" Judge Heinrichs to find him in contempt of court after a disagreement. 

He also disobeyed requests made by the court regarding the filing of documents. 

Heinrichs said that she found Lindsay’s dare to be contemptuous but, granted him a chance to apologize ahead of sentencing. Lindsay has since submitted two letters of apology to the court in an attempt to purge himself of contempt. 

However, after being found in contempt, Lindsay also appeared as a guest on an internet talk show where he accused Judge Heinrichs and Crown Prosecutor Grabavac of not giving him a fair trial. 

In a clip of the video, which was played for the court, Lindsay is heard saying, "The judge did not know what the heck she was doing but she was ordered to convict at any cost," and claimed Grabavac and the witnesses "controlled the judge." In the video, Lindsay called the government corrupt. 

Grabavac said it is the Crown's position that the accused has not purged himself of contempt and should be sentenced to a four-month jail term, to be served consecutively with a sentence of two years less a day for the convictions of assault. 

Lindsay has requested that he not serve any jail time for the convictions of assault. He told the court that he realized his mistake in trying to enter the building. 

He also said that he apologized for his actions in the courtroom which were found to be contemptuous and asked not to serve jail time for his actions. 

"For better or for worse, the relationship between us has not been the best," said Lindsay to Judge Heinrichs. "But that doesn't mean I should be penalized for it."


Jacqueline Gelineau

About the Author: Jacqueline Gelineau

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