Woman gets 30 days for flinging pie at Alberta premier during Stampede

CALGARY - A Calgary woman who tried to make a political statement by throwing chocolate cream pie filling at Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach during a Stampede breakfast was sentenced Monday to 30 days in jail.

CALGARY - A Calgary woman who tried to make a political statement by throwing chocolate cream pie filling at Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach during a Stampede breakfast was sentenced Monday to 30 days in jail.

Lily Phan was found guilty earlier this year of assault with intent to resist arrest and assaulting sheriff Hady Hammoud as he attempted to stop her from tossing the pie at the premier on July 9, 2007.

The sheriff's arms and stomach were splattered by the filling, which missed Stelmach.

Such attacks are no laughing matter, said provincial court Judge William Cummings as he handed down the sentence.

"These actions were not just impulsive or spontaneous. This was a planned and deliberate intent to assault the premier."

Cummings referenced similar sentences given to a man who pied former Alberta premier Ralph Klein at a Stampede breakfast several years ago and a woman who hit Calgary Mayor Dave Bronconnier with a pie in 2007.

Given the chance to address the court before she was sentenced, Phan said her sentence should have been less severe since she simply scooped the filling from the pie rather than winging the crust or its container at the premier.

She said it was an attempt to show Stelmach "he does have public responsibility over the quality of our lives."

"I never intended to hurt the premier or any of the officers," she said. "I did it without malice."

Stelmach, who was flipping pancakes at the time of the attempted attack, was visibly started, said Cummings. The fact that Phan's pie didn't connect with the premier doesn't make her offence any less serious than others who have used pies as forms of protest, he added.

"There's no excuse for assault on a public servant in the execution of his duties."

He rejected arguments by defence Lawyer Mark Takada that a conditional sentence would provide punishment enough, even though it was Phan's first offence.

Cummings ruled that Phan's sentence would be served on weekends, even after Takada requested she serve it in one solid block. He did allow her to serve it over Sunday and Monday of each week to suit her work schedule.

The sentence will be followed by three months of probation, including conditions that Phan not contact the premier or go within two blocks of the provincial government office in Calgary. Cummings rejected a Crown request that a DNA sample be taken.

In his decision, Cummings also took issue with Phan's attitude towards the assault, saying a pre-sentence report showed she was self-centred and believed she had been treated unfairly by police and the justice system.

"The accused's actions were planned and deliberate ... (she) stands before the court unapologetic."

Outside court, Phan said she couldn't muster up an apology, even though it may have netted her a lesser penalty.

"The judge is right, I'm not remorseful," she said.

Phan said she threw the pie filling at the premier to protest his policies on homelessness, poverty and the environment, and viewed it as non-violent protest.

"Even if I had gotten pie filling on him, the most he would have suffered is injured pride and a dry cleaning bill," she said.

"Whereas his policies ... have much more serious consequences for the entire province."

 
 
Latest From ...
Most Popular From ...