A man has been given a sentence of over six months in jail after making comments about killing a police officer.
Described by Crown attorney Lyndsay Jeanes as remorseless and “manipulative,” 37-year-old Jeremy Kerr had made the comments through a doctor. Kerr, who has a history of mental health issues, was at South Muskoka Memorial Hospital in Bracebridge on May 10. But while he was at the hospital, police were coincidentally called there to deal with an unrelated matter.
Having dealt with police in a prior domestic incident, Kerr mistakenly thought the police were coming for him.
In an earlier court appearance in June, the court heard Kerr told a doctor he refused to be taken alive by police, and would put himself in a suicide-by-cop situation if approached by officers.
Kerr directed threats at one specific OPP officer from a local detachment, as well as the officer’s family. That officer had dealt with Kerr before.
“He said he’d quote ‘run him down if he saw him,’” Jeanes said.
Jeanes said Kerr indicated he would kill the officer if he ever survived prison.
Other comments Kerr made were much more graphic.
“I wish the officer would be hit with a snow blower and his body would be chopped up so his children could see it,” Jeanes quoted Kerr as saying.
Jeanes said Kerr is at a high risk of reoffending and urged the court to “send him a message” to change his behaviour.
In addition to charges for threatening death and bodily harm, Kerr also faced six other assault-related charges dating back to 2008.
Dressed in a blue and white striped polo shirt on July 3, Kerr had nothing to say to the court when asked by Judge J.D. Evans.
In the end, he was sentenced to six months plus 18 days in jail, with a number of months to be served concurrently.
He will also be placed on probation for three years, has been ordered to attend treatment, rehabilitation and counselling, and has been barred from contacting or being near the officer and his family. He is also barred from contacting or being near another person involved in his prior run-in with the law.
The sentence also requires Kerr to provide a DNA sample to the Bracebridge OPP detachment, to refrain from alcohol and drugs, and forbids him from owning weapons for five years.
Evans gave the sentence after considering a joint submission from Jeanes and Kerr’s attorney Robin Bellows.
Noting the offences are “serious,” Evans warned Kerr that the punishment could have been a lot more severe.
“Mr. Kerr, quite frankly the joint submission is certainly at the low end of what the court can put on you,” he said.