Editorial – Understanding the Interest of the Public Would Be An Asset with Court Staff

In Editorial

Today’s Northumberland is proud to be the most read news in the area.

We work hard at it trying to get the news you deserve.

Unfortunately, sometimes we are met with roadblocks.

Some are understandable roadblocks while others, can be blamed on the system, the individuals or both.

In this case, you decide.

Yesterday, December 19, 2023 the case involving Jordan Denny was up in court in Cobourg.

On the online docket it said Denny would be taking a plea.

As the case garnered provincial attention when Denny was on the run in July 2023 we thought we would go to court and cover the story.

In July, Denny was on the run for approximately a week with numerous police pursuits across Ontario.

In posts obtained by Today’s Northumberland during that time Denny described himself as a “outlaw.”

It was during his time on the run that a Port Hope Police officer shot at the truck Denny was driving while it was in line at the Port Hope McDonald’s drive-thru.

At one point the truck was spotted in Cobourg at the library. Police tried to stop it, but the truck came in contact with the cruiser and the truck once again got away.

Denny was finally apprehended south of Grafton by members of Northumberland OPP.

He faced over 10 charges, but plead guilty to 10 on Tuesday.

Today’s Northumberland was there at the court.

When the Agreed Statement of Facts were read, they were as in-depth as anyone would think given the details of what happened over the time period. It took several minutes to read out the entire charges and facts that went along with them. It was interesting to say the least. And helped fill in the blanks for what happened over that time period.

For anyone who has been at court, another issue is hearing what is happening. When lawyers speak with the judge, it isn’t necessarily loud enough for those sitting in the gallery to hear.

But when media covers a trial they have to be perfect for obvious liability reasons.

After the facts were read, court took a break. It was at that time, that I e-mailed Ashley Rowe from Court Services about trying to obtain a copy. Even in the email I stated it might be best to ask Justice Marc Moorecroft who was presiding over the case if that would be ok to have a copy of the agreed statement of facts.

I’ll never know if she took the time.

Towards the end of the day, I sent Ms. Rowe lone last e-mail asking about the request.

Her response at 4:47 p.m. was that she was still in court.

Ms. Rowe must be the hardest worker, as it’s been over 24-hours and we still haven’t received a response.

The same result was received from Crown Attorney Gurinder Gill.

In fact, it was worse. Mr. Gill didn’t take the time to e-mail back stating what could be done to possibly rectify the situation.

Another issue that is somewhat frustrating is the court docket used to be posted outside each courtroom. It gave the name of the accused, the charges and the courtrrom. Without it – you have to ask someone which can sometimes be hard to find in the building.

We have no doubt the people working at court are busy – no doubt at all.

But others are also busy trying to inform the pubic on matters of importance.

Leaving them hanging, avoiding questions or not even responding isn’t the best way to show the public when courts are being scrutinized for their lack of transparency as it is.

Do better.

(Note: It’s not confirmed, but it’s believed approximately a year was added on to Denny’s jail time. Denny has been in jail since his arrest.)

Pete Fisher
Author: Pete Fisher

Has been a photojournalist for over 30-years and have been honoured to win numerous awards for photography and writing over the years. Best selling author for the book Highway of Heroes - True Patriot Love

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