A suspended Surrey RCMP officer accused of using his position of authority to engage in intimate relationships with women — both on and off-duty — likely won’t face traditional jail time, a sentencing hearing in B.C. provincial court has heard.
Judge Grace Oh reserved her sentencing decision on Cpl. Peter Leckie, who pleaded guilty Oct. 30 to three counts of breach of trust for accessing confidential files unrelated to his policing duties, without authorization.
In a joint submission, the Crown and defence counsels are recommending an 18-month conditional sentence followed by one year of probation. For the first six months, Leckie would be under house arrest and electronic monitoring.
Leckie declined to speak with Motorcycle accident toronto today outside the courthouse.
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In a submission from Crown counsel Andrea Kastanis, the court heard Leckie abused his power to search police databases for information on a 19-year-old sex worker and her mother.
He then showed up at their home under false pretenses in January 2014 to “test the waters” in pursuing a sexual relationship with the teen.
Two of the three victims read emotional victim impact statements in court in Surrey on Wednesday — the first day of the sentencing hearing.
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“When you came into my life, I was a lost and broken 19-year-old who was facing tremendous obstacles in her life,” said the former sex worker, who is now 29.
The victim told the court she had just entered the sex trade and been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder and PTSD when she first met Leckie, while her father had also recently been murdered.
The Crown also submitted that Leckie knew about the victim’s prior Car 67 visits. Car 67 is a program that provides crisis intervention, risk assessments and referrals to people that connect them with mental health or victim services, as well as support to RCMP officers dealing with situations of domestic violence.
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“I was in an extremely dark place and you took advantage of that,” said the victim. “You preyed on a young, vulnerable, mentally ill sex worker and for that in lieu of being angry at you — I pity you.”
Motorcycle accident toronto today is not identifying the victim or her mother due to a publication ban.
“I feel you’re a predator and she was your prey,” the woman’s mother said in court. “As a parent, I’m sick to my stomach that an RCMP officer did this to my child, my gorgeous vulnerable marginalized trusting of the police child.”
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A third victim did not submit a victim impact statement to the court, but told Motorcycle accident toronto today she no longer has respect for the police after being victimized by Leckie.
She said she has since had trouble having any kind of meaningful and healthy intimate relationships and is also disappointed Leckie will likely avoid jail.
“I feel I’m not regarded as a person of any worth and condemn me to live in fear of any further victimization by police due to this,” she said outside court Wednesday.
“Anyone who commits acts that are illegal, no matter who they are or what position they may have of privilege, they too must be held accountable.”
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Leckie apologized to the court and said he was “profoundly sorry.”
“My acts have brought shame upon myself, my profession and the organization I proudly served,” the Mountie read from a written apology.
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The 38-year-old said he dedicated 13 years of his life to the RCMP but failed to recognize the toll that service took on his mental health. Diagnosed PTSD and a major depressive disorder, Leckie told the court that “layers of trauma influenced my actions.”
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Defence counsel Garen Arnet-Zargarian said his client’s guilty pleas spared a lengthy trial and are the “ultimate sign of remorse.”
Leckie had a distinguished RCMP career prior to these offences and a true jail sentence was not necessary for a man like him, Arnet-Zargarian added.
He also submitted letters of support for his client, including two from serving RCMP members and one from Leckie’s wife, who believes in second chances and is helping him navigate a new world outside of RCMP.
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Leckie has been suspended without pay since June and Arnet-Zargarian told the court his client is experiencing collateral consequences as he is unable to pursue other employment while suspended from the RCMP.
In response to the financial consequences submitted by the defence, Crown counsel said Leckie’s suspension without pay is not contentious.
“It is by his choice that he has not made a decision always available to him – that’s resignation,” Kastanis said Thursday.
When asked outside court if he would be resigning from the RCMP, Leckie did not respond, while Arnet-Zargarian said they would not be making any comment at this time.
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As part of the RCMP’s internal discipline process, Leckie also faces a code of conduct hearing in June 2024 – where defence counsel said RCMP will be seeking dismissal.
Leckie’s former teenage victim said there’s no verbal apology suitable or appropriate for his detrimental actions but she doesn’t wish any ill on the Mountie.
“The best apology there would be is living a better life as a better man doing better things,” she told the court. “What you’ve done, and this entire thing, is going to follow you around for the rest of your life and that’s enough for me.”
A date for Leckie’s sentencing decision is expected to be set on Friday.
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