A Princeton man, who was initially reported to be too ill to be in Princeton court, was given a stern warning by provincial court Judge Gregory Koturbash during a circuit session on Thursday, April 14.
“I do not want to see a picture of your hernia,” Koturbash told Jesse Williams.
Williams was scheduled to appear for sentencing on five charges including assault, uttering threats and driving while prohibited.
He was also required to make a first appearance on fresh charges of assault, theft under $5,000 and breach of conditions.
His mother appeared in his stead, when the matters were called, explaining that Williams was too sick to attend.
She explained that Williams had been in Penticton hospital the previous evening, suffering from hernias, and needed to return to the hospital that day for treatment.
Koturbash asked for documentation proving Williams needed immediate medical attention, and the man showed up in court an hour later.
He asked for his files to be adjourned to another date.
Crown counsel Ann Lerchs told the court the sentencing had been put off several times, usually when Williams indicated he was not well.
“I’m opposed to any adjournment,” said, noting the charges are more than 18 months old.
She argued that Williams has several times cited ill health to justify a non-appearance, and has changed lawyers several times.
“We have tried (for resolution),” she said. “But month, after month, after month it just seems to go on.”
Koturbash eventually granted an adjournment to the following week, in a Penticton courtroom, but stressed Williams must attend.
“I appreciate that you may have medical issues, but they seem to get attention the day before or the day of court.”
He said nothing less than a signed letter from a medical professional stating that the defendant could not proceed would excuse him from appearing.
“You be there. Don’t be late unless there is medical documentation that you’re in the hospital…I don’t want a letter from the doctor that says, ‘My client has a hernia.’”
Lerchs said Williams should be prepared to be taken into custody following the sentencing.
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