Bail for man blinded by cop’s bullet
He may be free on bail, but a Calgary man who was shot blind by police while fleeing will be imprisoned for life, his family noted Friday. Relatives of J.H. sat wiping away tears and consoling each other as he appeared in court via closed-circuit TV.
J.H., had to be held by the hand as a Calgary Remand Centre guard led him to the camera for the bail hearing. And in the end, provincial court Judge Catherine Skene agreed with defence lawyer Andrea Urquhart that J.H. should be freed pending trial. At Urquhart’s request, Skene imposed a publication ban on the proceedings, which included details from Crown prosecutor Darren Maloney on the May 13 incident which cost Harron his sight.
Yvonne Harron said following the hearing it's been a trying few weeks for her entire family. "It's been difficult, very difficult," she said, wiping away her own tears. She said without his sight, her son no longer poses a risk to commit further acts and should be out of custody. "I think it's appropriate, he is no risk to the public as he is totally blind," the mom said.
She said they both have a lot of adjusting to do in the days ahead, as the accused learns to live without his sight. "Some days he's positive ... other days he's very sad and some days he's angry," she said. She said it was difficult to see her son in the remand centre, virtually helpless.
J.H. sat quietly throughout the hearing, although at one point could be heard moaning "oh my God," as Maloney made his submissions. He faces eight charges including two counts each of criminal negligence causing bodily harm and causing injury while fleeing police after allegedly striking an elderly couple outside a northwest Calgary bank. J.H. was already free on bail on several outstanding charges when he was shot.
He faces other allegations from different dates, including drug possession and possessing stolen motor vehicles. As a condition of his $800 cash and $2,000 surety bail, J.H. must live under house arrest at residences in either Black Diamond, or New Westminster, B.C.
Kevin Martin, Calgary Sun
June 1, 2013