New Brunswick’s highest court has rejected a bid by the Crown to put a man from Tobique First Nation back in prison, after he wasn’t given his medication while incarcerated on a drug-trafficking charge.
Timothy Anthony Sappier was convicted on Aug. 8 last year of conspiracy to traffic in methamphetamine and sentenced to 30 months in prison.
Sappier filed an appeal in October and was granted release from prison on Dec. 19 by the New Brunswick Court of Appeal, pending its decision.
Two days later, it’s alleged, Sappier stole a bottle of water from a local convenience store and then threw $1,400 cash in the parking lot when he left the store.
RCMP Cpl. Martin Van Dijk, who arrested him that day, was so concerned about Sappier’s mental health that he took him to the hospital in Perth-Andover for assessment, states a Court of Appeal ruling.
Sappier was then admitted to the Dr. Everett Chalmers Regional Hospital in Fredericton on an involuntary basis and, following a subsequent appearance in provincial court in Woodstock, was sent to the Restigouche Hospital Centre in Campbellton for a 30-day psychiatric assessment.
No medication in prison
In a decision dated March 21, Court of Appeal Justice Barbara Baird states Sappier has suffered from a mental disorder for a number of years and his treatment required him to take medication on a daily basis.
“While he was incarcerated, Mr. Sappier did not have any access to, or he did not receive his medication,” writes Baird in her ruling. “Either way, it is apparent his mental condition deteriorated to the point where, on his release, he was disoriented and delusional.”
‘It is apparent his mental condition deteriorated to the point where, on his release, he was disoriented and delusional.’
– Barbara Baird, Court of Appeal justice
The Crown wanted Sappier’s interim release pending his appeal to be revoked because of the charges resulting from the Dec. 21 incident.
Baird rejected that request.