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St. John’s judge convicts Halifax police officer of breaching court orders


A Halifax police officer’s future on the job may be in jeopardy now that a St. John’s judge has convicted him of breaching court orders.Christopher Mosher was sentenced to time served Tuesday in provincial court in St. John’s after pleading guilty to four counts of breaching an undertaking and recognizance.

Suspended Halifax police officer Chris Mosher was sentenced to time served in provincial court in St John’s Tuesday. He’s due in Halifax court later this month to face more serious charges, including sexual assault. — Photo by Rosie Mullaley/The Telegram

The 30-year-old, who has been in jail since May 11, was to be freed from jail following proceedings.

But Mosher’s troubles are far from over.

A suspended Halifax Regional Police officer, he faces more serious charges in Halifax, including sexual assault.

He had hoped to continue his career with the force once he got his legal and personal issues resolved.

In final arguments on sentencing, defence lawyer David Bright asked the judge to consider giving Mosher a conditional discharge.

“He’s trying to keep his position as an officer,” said Bright, who noted Mosher has no previous criminal record. “Should he be given (anything more than a conditional discharge), his chances of continuing as a police officer would be zero.”

Bright went on to say, “He’s a good policeman — a policeman’s policeman, the kind of guy you want if a call goes out. He’s a hard worker.”

Mosher was arrested just after midnight on May 11 at a bar on George Street.

The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary had received a tip about Mosher and, as a result, began surveillance on him earlier that day.

Officers first spotted him drinking beer while having lunch at The Guv’nor Pub on Elizabeth Avenue. That night, they saw him drinking at Martini Bar on George Street.

Mosher had been on court orders to abstain from drinking alcohol, except in his residence and outside the country, to abstain from drinking alcohol in the presence of women and to not enter any licensed drinking establishment.

Bright questioned why the RNC didn’t arrest him after they saw him drinking the first time, instead of waiting until he did it again.

“What happened to proactive policing and stopping a crime before it happens?” he said. “I don’t mean to be critical of the RNC, but it was odd circumstances.”

Bright said Mosher has been accepted to an in-house treatment centre in Nova Scotia for alcohol addiction.

He also said Mosher has been in custody at the St. John’s Lockup because there was no room at Her Majesty’s Penitentiary. He said the lockup has no showers and that, one day, he was taken to hospital and treated for dehydration.

Crown prosecutor Shawn Patten said someone in Mosher’s position ought to know better.

“He showed disregard for court orders,” he said. “Mr. Mosher, of all people, should know the seriousness of the offence.”

Judge Colin Flynn agreed.

“Everybody is treated equally when they come to court, but when you’re in a position you were, the degree of responsibility is considered higher.”

Mosher will deal with his serious matters in Halifax later this month.

In February 2013, Nova Scotia’s serious incident response team charged Mosher with sexual assault and administering a noxious substance. Those charges stem from an incident said to have taken place in Mosher’s Eastern Passage home in November 2012, involving a woman.

He also faces several counts of breaching court orders, which include reports he had alcohol.

A preliminary inquiry on those charges is scheduled for later this month in provincial court in Dartmouth.

Mosher was suspended from the force with pay in December 2012, but his pay was cut off in September 2013.

 

rmullaley@thetelegram.com

Twitter: @TelyCourt

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