If a Deer Lake man convicted of trying to kill his neighbour by beating him with a flashlight wants to appeal his sentence, the government won’t be picking up the tab for a lawyer.
That’s the decision made by a Newfoundland and Labrador Court of Appeal judge Wednesday in St. John’s in the case of Alex James Normore.
The 55-year-old had applied for a publicly funded lawyer to represent him when the appeal is heard in May.
However, Justice Deborah Fry denied the application, noting Normore is more than capable of arguing the case himself.
“The issues are not legally complex. The appeal is narrow in scope and there is an adequate transcript of the sentencing decision by the trial judge,” Fry said.
“Given the nature of the issues raised on appeal, I am satisfied that Mr. Normore will be able to present his case adequately and the court will not require the assistance of counsel to properly decide the appeal.”
Normore was sentenced to nine years in prison for trying to kill his neighbour on March 1, 2014. The sentence, handed down in Newfoundland Supreme Court in Corner Brook in May 2016, was reduced by just over three years for the time he has spent in custody since his arrest.
Normore broke into his neighbour’s home and found the man in his bedroom. He told the man “I don’t have a gun, but I’m going to kill you anyway,” and proceeded to strike him with a large metal flashlight.
The man was able to get away and Normore followed after him, taking his victim’s truck, which was parked outside.
Normore was also found guilty of breaking and entering into a dwelling and committing an offence, uttering threats, possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose and assault with a weapon. He had previously entered a guilty plea to theft for stealing his victim’s truck.
Normore appealed both his conviction and sentence.
The conviction appeal was heard on Feb. 15, 2018, and was allowed, with a new trial ordered. On Oct. 17, 2018, the Crown took the case to the Supreme Court of Canada, which restored the convictions.
Throughout all these legal processes, Norman was represented by Legal Aid lawyer Derek Hogan.
Normore, who is still behind bars, wanted the same representation for his sentencing appeal, noting he felt the trial judge made a number of legal errors.
However, Fry was adamant that, “this is not a case where an order should be made for appointment of counsel.”
The sentencing appeal is scheduled to be heard in St. John’s May 23.