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CANADA
Judicial CP - November 1952



Corpun file 22723

The Vancouver Sun, 14 November 1952

Whipping, 7 Years For 5 Dope Peddlers

Sentences Set B.C. Precedent

Mr. Justice Manson today turned a new weapon on dope peddlers and addicts when he ordered paddling along with seven-year penitentiary terms and fines for five men convicted recently in Assize Court.

The five were convicted during the police war against drug distribution to teen-agers, particularly girls.

This is the first time in B.C. history that corporal punishment has been added to prison terms and fines for drug offenses.


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Mr. Justice Manson remarked before imposing the sentences that distribution of narcotics "is worse than murder," as it "destroys not only the body but the soul."

Pronouncement of the first of the maximum sentences, seven years, $1000 fine or an additional 12 months with two paddlings of five strokes of the paddle each, brought a gasp from the crowded gallery of the court.

Robert Woods, 20-year-old self-styled [illegible], was the first to receive the unusually heavy penalty. His crime was giving away drugs to young girls.

"I Am Innocent"

Woods' only comment when asked if he had anything to say before sentence was passed on him was: "I am innocent of this charge."


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In the case of William Ainsworth, also known as William Semeniuk, his seven-year term was made consecutive to a two-year sentence he received in August for possession of drugs.

J. S. Burton stated as counsel for Calder "Max" Hurlburt an appeal would be launched immediately.

To Serve 15 Years

Heaviest assize sentence handed out was to Charles Reginald Martin, 42, of Powell River, who received 15 years for the attempted murder of his wife.

Other sentences were:

William Ainsworth, 28, selling drugs: seven years, plus a fine of $1000 or one year and two whippings with the paddle of five strokes each.

Calder Max Hurlburt, 19, distributing drugs: seven years plus a fine of $1000 or 12 months and two whippings each of five strokes.

Robert Woods, 20, distributing drugs: seven years, plus a fine of $1000 or one year and two whippings each of five strokes.

James Bergnach, 19, giving away drugs: seven years plus a fine of $500 or six months, and five strokes with the paddle.


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John Kazmer, 32, possession of drugs: seven years, plus a fine of $1000 or one year and two whippings each of five strokes.

James P. "Blackie" Mason, 28, giving away drugs, seven years and two whippings of five strokes each, plus a fine of $1000 or one year.

Colvin Currie, 20, possession of drugs, seven years, plus a fine of $500 or six months and five strokes of the paddle.

Henry White, 25, giving away drugs, five years, plus a fine of $500 or three months and five strokes of the paddle.

Norman Roy Pollard, 26, rape, four years.

William Sequin, 47, receiving stolen goods, three years.

Gwendoline Thornington, 24, possession of drugs, two years plus a fine of $200 or two months.

Patricia Bagstad, 19, selling drugs, two years plus a fine of $200 or two months.

Alex Jack, 46, traffic manslaughter, one year.

Mr. Justice Manson pointed out that Gwendoline Thornington had been convicted twice before on drug charges, but he believed that her rehabilitation was possible.

6 Convictions

He said this could be accomplished best at Kingston Penitentiary, where "she will have every opportunity and assistance to get away from drugs for the rest of her life."

The judge referred to six previous convictions against Robert Woods for various crimes, including one in July for possession of drugs, before he sentenced him to seven years for giving out a substance held to be narcotics to two teen-aged girls.

Others in the group who were sentenced for narcotics offenses also had previous convictions.

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