Cortney Lake’s family members arrived early at provincial court Tuesday afternoon and chose a seat in the front row of the courtroom to await the start of proceedings.
Pinned to her mother and grandmother’s coats at the heart were buttons, one with a red ribbon, bearing the missing woman’s photo.
For the second time, they left the courtroom without seeing any progress, either in their favour or against it.
Lisa Lake, Cortney’s mother, has been trying to get a peace bond against Philip Steven Smith, Cortney’s ex-boyfriend, since last month.
Like last time, Smith was a no-show for the peace bond hearing Tuesday, since sheriff’s officers have been unable to locate him to serve him with a notice to appear.
Crown to appeal Philip Smith’s sentence on driving charges
Sheriff’s officers aren’t tasked with investigating to find a person in order to serve them, but to use the contact information provided on the court documents.
Smith, 25, was arrested June 5 and charged with a number of offences involving Cortney, including breaching a court order to not contact her or her mother, as well as charges of dangerous driving and failing to stop for police.
He pleaded guilty two days later and was released on conditions — one of them was his agreement to not contact Cortney or Lisa again.
Hours later, Smith picked up Cortney in his pickup on Michener Avenue in Mount Pearl, a moment that was caught on dash cam by another driver. It was the last time the 24-year-old mother of one was ever seen.
Police say they have reason to believe she has been murdered. They say they have suspects in mind, but have never publicly connected Smith — who had no criminal record before his June 7 convictions — to the case in any way.
They did, however, execute a search warrant on Smith’s home while he was in custody at the end of June, arrested for breaching the conditions of his release. Among other things, officers took Smith’s truck.
Smith was sentenced to three months in jail. With credit given for time served as well as an early release due to good behaviour, he completed his sentence at Her Majesty’s Penitentiary in late August.
When Smith didn’t appear in court Tuesday, Lisa Lake was quick to point out to Judge Colin Flynn that it wasn’t the first time.
“The only thing I can offer is for us to issue another summons,” Flynn replied, rescheduling the peace bond hearing to Nov. 7.
Smith has another court appointment before that: earlier that week he is due to appear in Newfoundland Supreme Court, where the Crown is appealing part of his sentence for the dangerous driving and failing to stop for police charges. As part of his sentence, Smith was given a one-year driving ban, except for work purposes. Prosecutor Jude Hall is arguing that a driving ban with such an exception is not an available sentence under the Criminal Code.
Smith didn’t show up in court when that matter was called last month, despite having been served with a summons to appear while he was in custody.