ROCKY MOUNTAIN HOUSE — A man who didn’t want to be connected with a woman who died from a drug overdose received a suspended sentence on Wednesday for interfering with her body.
Scott Brennan, 35, of Rocky pleaded guilty earlier in provincial court to moving human remains to escape investigation.
Brennan was placed on probation for 18 months and must undergo treatment for alcohol and drug addiction if ordered by his probation officer, provincial court Judge John Holmes ruled.
On Oct. 29, 2008, RCMP were called to the Post House Apartment building at 51st Street and 50th Avenue in Rocky after emergency services workers were unable to revive 39-year-old Daphne Atkinson.
Her body was discovered in a hallway propped up against a wall at the top of the stairway.
No signs of trauma were observed but needle marks on her wrists and forearms were noticed.
An investigation followed and police determined the body had been moved to the location.
Brennan at first denied any involvement with the movement but later confessed.
He had been doing drugs with Atkinson in the apartment and when she overdosed and died, he panicked and decided to carry her body out into the hall to conceal his involvement.
Defence lawyer Patty MacNaughton said Brennan didn’t have a record and should receive a sentence that didn’t include jail time.
Crown prosecutor Murray McPherson told court that Brennan’s crime was at the very low end of the scale involving people charged with interfering with dead bodies.
“It’s a very rare charge,” he said.
Holmes said the crime can be serious if an accused attempts to cover up a homicide by burning, burying or mutilating the body.
The judge also said Brennan’s pre-sentence report was positive but indicates he has difficulties with alcohol and drug abuse.
Holmes also told Brennan because the sentence is suspended it means he could be brought back before the court and sentenced for the crime if he doesn’t abide by conditions of his probation. He would also be charged with breaching probation, the judge added.