Man on trial in stolen laptop case

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A 29-year-old man was on trial Friday in territorial court where he stands accused of stealing laptops from the Tree of Peace Friendship Centre.
Lloyd Thrasher was charged with two counts of possession of stolen property under $5,000 and a count of breaching a probation order, RCMP announced in January.
The charges date back to Dec. 21, 2016.
Before last week’s trial began, Crown prosecutor Levi Karpa suggested to judge Bernadette Schmaltz that Thrasher should only be allowed to sit at the defense desk with his lawyer, Katherine Oja, if he were to wear shackles around his feet.
Karpa said he was told Thrasher had been behaving aggressively earlier that morning and was trying to take his shirt off. He said he didn’t think there were enough officers in the courtroom – there were three – to deal with Thrasher if he became aggressive.
Oja said her client appeared calm after arriving in the courtroom, and Thrasher promised Schmaltz he would behave.
He added he was only wearing socks on his feet, the second time he has made the comment this spring.
Yellowknifer reported in March about an RCMP practice of removing prisoners’ shoes before court appearances.
“It’ll be easier to control me without my shoes,” Thrasher said.
“Yes, there seems to be an issue with shoes,” Schmaltz replied.
The Crown was expected to call five witnesses Friday, including three members of the Yellowknife RCMP who testified that morning.
The first presented two identical black laptops as evidence, which he said were turned over to police by the owner of Dan’s Place, a second-hand store at Centre Square Mall.
The corporal said owner Dan Hayward turned the two laptops over to RCMP after coming into possession of them.
Another RCMP member presented photos taken at the Tree of Peace Friendship Centre, including one of a pair of boots seized after the incident.
Thrasher is expected to appear in court again on May 15 for a decision.

51 year old man guilty in
sexual assault, assault case
Fifty-one-year-old Stewart Daniel Gillis has been found guilty of sexual assault, three counts of assault and one count of failing to comply with a condition of undertaking or recognizance.
Judge Robert Gorin handed him the guilty verdict on Friday morning in territorial court.
According to court documents on Gillis’ case, two of the assaults date back to 2014, while the sexual assault and another assault date back to early 2016.
In a series of e-mail exchanges attached as evidence in the court file, the offender states he held the complainant around the throat during an argument, although he said he had no intention of hurting the person.
“I know it was wrong and I feel very badly about it,” Gillis writes in the e-mail.
About a month after that message, he contacted the recipient of the e-mails again, asking her to keep the previous e-mail exchange confidential, the correspondence shows.
An victim impact statement contained in the file also paints a picture of the deep-rooted effects the assaults and sexual assault have had on the complainant.
In it, the person describes being subjected to strangling and having her head pushed down in the water of a bathtub.
“I was stricken with grief, fear and instability,” the statement says. “My heart was pounding in my chest as I became aware of what was happening to me.”
Besides emotional distress, the complainant said she experienced disbelief and embarrassment, as well as weight loss and an inability to eat.
Gillis has been self-represented up to this point, according to Crown prosecutor Trevor Johnson.
He is expected to appear in court again for sentencing on June 16.

Man sought by RCMP faces court date
A 36-year-old man who RCMP sought public assistance to locate last week after searching for him for several days was scheduled to appear in territorial court on Monday.
Aaron Catholique faces a charge of sexual assault dating back to Feb. 2.
Defense lawyer Peter Harte appeared for Catholique on Monday and adjourned the matter to another day.
Catholique is expected to appear in Justice of the Peace court on Wednesday.