N.S. Court of Appeal rules paramedic to receive added jail for sexual assaults - 660 NEWS
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N.S. Court of Appeal rules paramedic to receive added jail for sexual assaults

Last Updated Mar 7, 2018 at 10:00 am MDT

HALIFAX – Nova Scotia’s Court of Appeal has decided that a former paramedic who sexually assaulted female patients must serve more time in prison.

James Duncan Keats was sentenced in October 2015 to four years in prison for sexually assaulting a 71-year-old woman in her Annapolis Valley home in 2013.

Four other complainants later came forward, alleging Keats had sexually assaulted them while he was working.

He was convicted of assaulting two of the women, but the judge acquitted him of the other charges and sentenced him to 30 months in prison.

However, the trial judge decided the new sentence should be served at the same time as the original four-year penalty.

The Crown sought an appeal of that decision.

In a decision published this week, the Court of Appeal decided the trial judge was wrong to impose a concurrent sentence.

Nova Scotia’s highest court added the 30-month sentence to Keats’ original sentence.

“A sentence must be proportionate to the gravity of the offence and the degree of responsibility of the offender,” wrote Justice Elizabeth Van den Eynden, in a decision that two other judges concurred with.

“In my view, the 30-month sentence should be served consecutive to the four-year sentence. It is not unduly long or harsh; rather, it is proportionate to the gravity of the offences and reflective of Mr. Keats’ overall moral blameworthiness and breach of trust.”

The panel of judges also dismissed Keats’ appeal of his conviction.