Crown appealing Mastop sentence

A year in jail for a disgraced Vernon lawer is not enough for the Ministry of Justice’s criminal jsutice branch.

A year in jail for a Vernon lawyer is not enough for the Ministry of Justice’s criminal justice branch.

The branch announced Wednesday that it had, on Tuesday, filed an application for leave of appeal from sentence in the case against William Mastop, 46.

The Vernon defence lawyer pleaded guilty to participating in the activities of a criminal organization and was sentenced last month to to one year in jail.

“The criminal justice branch reviewed the Reasons of the Justice who sentenced Mr. Mastop to assess whether there was a legal basis on which to initiate an appeal from sentence,” said Neil MacKenzie, branch communications counsel.

“In accordance with branch policy, the Crown will generally only initiate an appeal from sentence where it has concluded, in light of the facts of the case and the applicable law, that a reasonable basis can be advanced for seeking a variation of the sentence imposed.

“It is, of course, up to the appellate court to ultimately assess whether the sentence was unfit and a variation is warranted.”

MacKenzie said in a press release that a determination was made in Mastop’s case that an appeal should be initiated. The branch filed an application with the B.C. Court of Appeal that seeks to have the sentence of imprisonment increased.

A tentative hearing date for the appeal has been set for July 18 in Vancouver.

As this matter is now before the Court of Appeal, the criminal justice branch will not comment further on the specifics of the case.