A Gladue report will be prepared for James Lee Busch, 42, who faces two charges of escape from lawful custody for breaking out of William Head Institution with fellow inmate Zachary Armitage in July 2019. (Corrections Service Canada)

A Gladue report will be prepared for James Lee Busch, 42, who faces two charges of escape from lawful custody for breaking out of William Head Institution with fellow inmate Zachary Armitage in July 2019. (Corrections Service Canada)

Sentencing delayed for escaped Metchosin prisoner

James Lee Busch, 42, will be back in court after creation of Indigenous offenders report

Sentencing for a Metchosin inmate charged with two counts of escape from lawful custody has been delayed for at least eight weeks.

James Lee Busch, 42, made a brief appearance by video from Matsqui Institution in Abbotsford, where he told judge Roger Cutler that he was pleading guilty to the charges.

Cutler asked Busch if he was ‘pleading voluntarily’ and without pressure, to which Busch, said he believed [Corrections Services Canada] wanted to make an example out of him.

RELATED: Judge ‘bewildered’ that escaped Metchosin inmate was in a minimum security prison

Busch’s lawyer, Roberto Alberto, clarified that his client understood the guilty plea. Busch was expressing a concern that his sentence might be harsher in order to send a message to other inmates.

“You understand that whatever the penalty is going to be is entirely up to me, regardless of what anyone else might have told you?” Cutler asked.

“Yeah,” Busch responded.

Busch was serving time for second-degree murder and assault when he escaped William Head Institution with fellow inmate Zachary Armitage on the evening of July 7. The two were present for the prison’s 7 p.m. head count, and were discovered missing at 11 p.m.

The pair evaded authorities for two days before being re-captured in Esquimalt. The escaped inmates commented on the size of a dog near the Songhees Walkway on the evening of July 9, unknowingly alerting its owner – an off-duty RCMP officer – to their location. The officer called 911 and the two men were arrested by the Victoria Police Department.

RELATED: Escaped William Head inmates recognized after commenting on off-duty RCMP officer’s dog

On Monday, Alberto requested a Gladue report be prepared for his client – a process that will delay sentencing by at least eight weeks. A Gladue report is a pre-sentencing or bail hearing report for Indigenous offenders with recommendations to the court on appropriate sentencing. The report usually includes information on the individual’s family and background and is typically created by Gladue caseworkers at the request of a judge or lawyer.

“They are specifically done for people of Aboriginal descent, because the Supreme Court of Canada has said there needs to be consideration of many factors that Aboriginal people go through that the rest of society doesn’t go through,” Alberto said. “Over and over, criminal defence lawyers we are finding that the Gladue report is actually very important. The more information you can give the judge the better informed he or she is.”

RELATED: Langford mayor left with questions nearly two months after Metchosin prison escape

Alberto said its unclear if a Gladue report has ever been created for Busch, who has been convicted and sentenced for multiple crimes, including aggravated sexual assault.

“It will probably be best to get a [report] because he has probably gone through a lot of other stuff while in jail,” Alberto said. “So I want to get that information and put it to the judge and go from there.”

Busch’s next court date Feb. 13 will determine if the Gladue report is completed and potentially include the setting of a new sentencing date.

Armitage also pleaded guilty to escape from lawful custody and in November was sentenced to an another year in prison, in addition to his current sentence.

RELATED: Escaped Metchosin inmate sentenced to additional year tacked on to 14-year sentence



nina.grossman@blackpress.ca

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Supporter Gordy Dodd cheers on HeroWork Victoria executive director Trevor Botkin, who will be in a lift for 36 hours beside Dodd’s Furniture and Mattress on April 16 and 17 to raise funds for the organization’s next project, a makeover of the Salvation Army’s Addiction and Rehabilitation Centre on Johnson Street. (Courtesy HeroWork Victoria)
HeroWork Victoria tackles makeover of Salvation Army rehab centre

Executive director to spend 36 hours living in a lift as fundraiser

Naloxone is used to treat opioid overdoses. (Black Press Media files)
Island Health issues overdose advisory for Greater Victoria

The advisory directs bystanders to an overdose to call 911 and administer naloxone

Grandmothers to Grandmothers is a campaign that connects Canadian grandmothers with grandmothers in Africa who are caring for children orphaned by AIDS. Here, they are in Kakuto, Uganda in 2018. (Kibuuka Mukisa Oscar photo)
Greater Victoria and African grandmothers celebrate solidarity with virtual concert

Grandmothers to Grandmothers supports women in Africa caring for children orphaned by AIDS

West Shore RCMP is seeking information about a collision involving a car and a bicycle on Six Mile Road, near the Island Highway, at 11:30 a.m. on April 7. (Black Press Media file photo)
West Shore RCMP seeks information about collision between bike, car

Collision occured on Six Mile Road on April 7 and a bystander got the blue car’s plate number

A vehicle that was driven through the wall of a parkade at Uptown Shopping Centre and into the nearby Walmart on April 9 was removed through another hole in the wall later that night. (Photo via Saanich Police Department and Ayush Kakkar)
Driver who crashed into Uptown Walmart likely suffering mental health crisis, police say

Man in his early 20s drove through a parkade wall, no serious injuries reported

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. The province has restricted indoor dining at all restaurants in B.C. due to a spike in COVID-19 numbers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 indoor dining, drinking ban extending into May

Restaurant association says patio rules to be clarified

Organ donation form from BC Transplant. (BC Transplant)
POLL: Have you registered as an organ donor?

They number 1.5 million strong and growing. But their numbers still fall… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of April 6

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Two men were seen removing red dresses alongside the Island Highway in Oyster Bay. (Submitted photo)
Two men filmed removing red dresses from trees on highway near Ladysmith

Activists hung the dresses to raise awareness for Vancouver Island’s Murdered/Missing Women & Girls

B.C. Premier John Horgan speaks at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
Tougher COVID-19 restrictions in B.C., including travel, still ‘on the table’: Horgan

John Horgan says travel restrictions will be discussed Wednesday by the provincial cabinet

RCMP on scene yesterday at the altercation at the trailer park. (Submitted photo)
Violent altercation at Port Hardy trailer park sends one to hospital

Police say man confronted another over airsoft shooting, then was attacked with a weapon

John Albert Buchanan was found guilty of manslaughter in the 2017 death of Richard Sitar. Pictured here, Buchanan walking to the court in Nanaimo last year. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)
Six years including time served for Nanaimo man in bludgeoning death

John Albert Buchanan sentenced in B.C. Supreme Court in Nanaimo for death of Richard Sitar

Flow Academy is not accepting membership applications from anybody who has received a dose of the vaccine, according to a password-protected membership application form. (Submitted image)
B.C. martial arts gym refusing patrons who have been vaccinated, wear masks

Interior Health has already issued a ticket to Flow Academy for non-compliance with public health orders

Guinevere, lovingly referred to by Jackee Sullivan and her family as Gwenny, is in need of a gynecological surgery. The family is raising money to help offset the cost of the procedure. (Jackee Sullivan/Special to Langley Advance Times)
Langley lizard’s owners raise funds for gynecological surgery

The young reptile is scheduled for operation on Tuesday

Most Read