A suspect was in provincial court in Courtenay Aug. 4 for sentencing but now wants to change a guilty plea. Record file photo

A suspect was in provincial court in Courtenay Aug. 4 for sentencing but now wants to change a guilty plea. Record file photo

Suspect wants to change plea prior to sentence for Courtenay robbery

Thursday morning’s court appearance was fourth attempt at sentencing in less than a year

A man charged in connection for a robbery at a Courtenay business two years ago has had his sentencing delayed again.

Edmond Patterson was in court Aug. 4, a year minus a day from when he was first to have been sentenced. This time, with new counsel again, he wanted to proceed to trial because of issues he sees with the police investigation.

“He wants to apply to change his plea,” defence lawyer Eric Chesterley told the court.

Patterson had been represented by different lawyers and by himself at various points. According to the Crown, he has had four lawyers, with the recent retention of Chesterley as of June.

The day’s appearance marked the fourth attempt at sentencing arguments since a plea deal in early 2021.

In February 2021, he entered guilty pleas to charges of robbery, using an imitation firearm to commit an indictable offence and breaching a release order. He was also charged with disguising his face to commit an offence and a probation breach.

Judge Alexander Wolf took into consideration the fact that some of the delays and changes in counsel were not a result of the accused’s actions.

In one case, his lawyer was called to the bench as a judge. However, Wolf said he understood Crown counsel’s frustration with the delays.

“The Crown is becoming very skeptical of Mr. Patterson’s intent to deal with this,” Crown counsel Brendan Ward told the judge. “Crown wants to proceed with sentencing.”

The judge gave defence 30 days to look over the case and consider the possibility of a plea change, but he cautioned the accused not to expect much more time before dealing with the matter.

“I will say, Mr. Patterson, it does look like you’re reaching the end of the journey,” Wolf said.

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Patterson was arrested following an incident at a business in the 2700 block of Cliffe Avenue on Aug. 16, 2020. At that time, according to an RCMP news release, the suspect entered the premises, showed an employee what appeared to be a firearm and demanded all of the money from the cash drawer, then left and was last seen running through an alley behind the business.


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