A man who had decided to represent himself, plead guilty to two charges and accept punishment changed his approach after hearing a jail sentence could follow.
David Frederick Vincent, 39, appeared before provincial court Judge Wayne Gorman in Corner Brook Tuesday. He is facing three charges of breaching conditions of an undertaking.
Vincent had applied for legal aid and his application had been sent to the Stephenville office due to a conflict. He told Gorman he had made a number of calls, and left messages, to see what the status was. He had not heard anything back, he said.
Vincent told the judge he didn’t want to delay things any further and wished to represent himself. Gorman informed him legal-aid lawyer Sandi MacKinnon could call the Stephenville office on his behalf to check on the status of his application. Vincent decided he wanted to continue himself.
He pleaded guilty to contacting a woman he was not supposed to and entering a dwelling he was ordered to stay away from. A third breach would have been withdrawn upon conviction of those two charges.
As the judge and Crown attorney Lori St. Croix discussed disclosure issues relating to legal-aid lawyer Jamie Luscombe previously receiving the case information, Vincent asked the judge if there was any chance he could receive jail time. Gorman confirmed it was a possibility.
The sentencing hearing was set for Aug. 11.
Vincent remained in the courtroom and approached MacKinnon during the recess. They met and afterwards the lawyer asked to have the matter recalled.
She told Gorman she checked on the status of Vincent’s application for representation and it was still being processed. She requested the guilty pleas be withdrawn saying Vincent had not really understood the process and what was happening. St. Croix did not object.
Gorman said he doubted Vincent did not understand the process, but agreed to have the matter set over to allow him to be represented by a lawyer. The matter will next be called Sept. 2.