Man who shot girlfriend wins appeal of parole eligibility

CALGARY — A Calgary man who lured his former girlfriend to a bar and shot her has won an appeal of his parole eligibility.

CALGARY — A Calgary man who lured his former girlfriend to a bar and shot her has won an appeal of his parole eligibility.

The Alberta Court of Appeal has ruled that a judge was wrong to order Patrick Kevin Laing to serve half his sentence before applying for release.

Convicts are normally eligible to go back into the community after serving one-third of their sentence.

The appeal judges said Justice Peter Clark shouldn’t have made Laing’s punishment more severe to satisfy public calls for harsher sentences.

Clark sentenced Laing to 11 years — minus credit for pre-trial custody — for discharging a firearm with intent to wound and for obstructing justice.

Laing tricked his ex-girlfriend, who was 16 at the time, into going to a bar in September 2006 and shot her in the leg.

He later contacted her from the Calgary Remand Centre and tried to get her to blame someone else for the shooting.

The judges said it’s not the role of the courts to use parole to make statements.

“He made clear that his parole ineligibility order was to sate the appetite of the public and the press for longer jail time for serious offences,” they said in a written ruling.

“We agree with the appellant that section … ought not to be invoked to send a message to the citizens of Alberta regarding policy issues that properly are addressed by the Parliament of Canada.”

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