Crown seeks up to eight years for alleged Hells Angel member

NANAIMO – Sentencing for extortion case continues April 14.

Crown counsel is seeking a prison sentence of six to eight years for an accused member of the Hells Angels found guilty last December for his part in an extortion plot.

Judge Robin Baird ruled that while Robert Frederick Widdifield didn’t commit the act of extortion, he, along with another alleged Hells Angel member and a pair of associates, took part in an illegal enterprise in October 2010, where a man, who can’t be identified due to a publication ban, was forced to pay an exorbitant amount of money and had a yacht taken.

On Tuesday, Baird heard submissions from Elizabeth Rennie, Crown counsel, and John Green, Widdifield’s legal counsel, at a sentencing hearing. Green was seeking prison time of between two and three years.

A lifetime firearms ban for Widdifield, as well as a restitution order of $127,000 for the boat, were also being sought by the Crown, an option that is available, according to Neil MacKenzie, Crown counsel spokesman.

“Each case is decided on its own particular circumstances, but where the loss can be quantified, the Criminal Code does provide provision for restitution order being made and so in the circumstances here, Crown concluded it was appropriate to seek restitution to the complainant in the file,” said MacKenzie.

Green declined comment as the matter is still before the court.

The sentencing hearing was adjourned until April 14.

“The Crown may be providing some additional material to the court before the next date … ultimately whether a sentence is actually imposed on the 14th is in the discretion of the judge,” MacKenzie said.

While Widdifield was charged in 2010, charges against him were stayed in June 2013 due to court delays, however, Crown successfully appealed to the B.C. Supreme Court and Widdifield’s trial took place last fall.

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