PETERBOROUGH, Ont. – Greg Scollard sobbed at the defence table as he was handed a 12-month jail sentence for blowing up his house during a drug-manufacturing operation.
Scollard, 29, pleaded guilty to arson by negligence in January. The Crown sought a jail sentence of 18 to 24 months. Scollard’s lawyer, Dave McFadden, asked the judge for house arrest for 18 to 24 months, or a jail sentence of 12 to 15 months.
Judge Michael Brown said Scollard, who runs his own maintenance business and employs eight people, wasn’t a danger to the community and would be a good candidate for a house arrest sentence.
But his actions put the lives of several people at risk, Brown said, and the explosion was the result of drug activity. Those facts, he said, make a house arrest sentence inappropriate.
Scollard was in the basement of his city-owned duplex in Peterborough, Ont., June 16, 2010 with his neighbour, Don Doncaster. There was a small marijuana grow op in the basement.
Scollard, court heard, was using butane to make marijuana resin. During the resin-making process marijuana leaves are packed into a plastic pipe and the gas is filtered through, dragging oil out of the leaves.
Some of the gas escaped, pooling in the basement until it reached a critical mass.
Scollard was smoking a joint as he made the resin, Brown said, though the Fire Marshal couldn’t say for sure if the joint or an electrical spark caused the gas to ignite.
Doncaster pleaded guilty to production of marijuana and was sentenced to house arrest.
Sarah Deeth, QMI Agency
April 03, 2013
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