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January 21, 2000 Halifax Herald

Despicable crime deserves maximum sentence

Browsing through the Herald on January 12 my eye caught this headline: "Nurse jailed for four years for impregnating disabled woman." The tale behind it was totally disgusting.

The barbarian,69-year old Essau Davis, a former male nurse and a convicted child abductor, raped his 34 year old immobilized, female patient in 1996, in a Toronto hospital. His victim suffers severe cerebral palsy and is a survivor of several strokes that have left her with the intelligence of a six-year-old and unable to speak. Her mother stated: "When he raped her, he knew that in spite of her terror and pain, he could count on a silent scream."

What brought the crime to light was the woman's pregnancy. The sicko apparently continued to nurse his victim until the pregnancy was discovered. Imagine having to face the beast that brutalized you on a daily basis, and being so helpless that all you can hope for is that it won't happen again!

When sentencing Davis, Justice Peter Grossi stated: "I cannot envisage a more despicable act." No right-mined person would disagree with his assessment. But if Mr. Justice Grossi couldn't imagine a more despicable act, why did he sentence Davis to only four years for such a loathsome crime? The sentence certainly doesn't fit the nature of the crime by a country mile; it almost seems merciful. The man has proven to be a total degenerate and, as such, deserves no mercy.

Individuals such as he are totally devoid of scruples and are capable of doing anything. The only remorse that they ever have is about getting caught. Therefore, Davis should have received the maximum sentence with no possibility of knowing freedom again, if that were possible under our justice system. If such isn't possible then its well past the time that it is. Letís hope the prosecutor appeals the sentence and wins a substantial increase.

The next item I want to vent my spleen about is the "traffic calming" project under way in Halifax. It takes no engineer to realize that severely restricting the use of the Armview-Jubilee commuter route, without opening up a new route to pick up the re-routed traffic, defies logic. In reality, it is a "traffic screw-upĒ project.

The reason given for restricting traffic flow on the affected streets was that too many motorists were using them. This is a large crock, because the same can be said for Connaught, Robie, South, Coburg and so on. Traffic flow has increased over a long period of time on all these residential routes, and will continue to do so until such time as the city can afford to construct a freeway into the downtown area. As it can't even afford to clean up the stinking harbour this won't happen tomorrow.

As for using the restricted streets, I can speak from long experience that such is a necessity. For the better part of 16 years, starting in 1971, I, along with thousands of others, used them daily to get to jobs in downtown Halifax from Spryfield and beyond. The use of the route by commuters for such purpose goes back for decades. The people who bought houses along these streets knew this, yet they bought them anyway. So, why all of a sudden should thousands of commuting motorist pay for their follies?

Sue Uteck, deserves a pat on the back for coming out swinging about the traffic mess created by traffic authority head Dave McCusker's experiment. Her contention that the lights at the intersection of Connaught and Jubilee should be removed at the earliest possible date is right on - especially now that the regional police deem the corner unsafe because of them. And, for the love of all that's holy, get those ugly concrete barriers off the streets.

In the case of Jubilee, there is question of principle that needs to be answered. How come only the lower section of the street, where the well-off reside, was restricted? In all fairness, the less-fortunate people on the upper end should have received the same consideration.

Council needs to take control of the situation and cancel the "traffic calming" project. And then, above all, inform McCusker that even experts such as he can make mistakes; and in this case, he made a big one. Itís unbelievable that so many thousands have been so inconvenienced for the benefit of so few.

On the lighter side, I really got a kick out of it when McCusker stated publicly that he can overrule Council decisions because they have no expertise in traffic safety. Then, by allowing some of the residents in the area to vote on the project, he anoints them with the expertise that he says council doesn't have.

In defense of council, itís highly unlikely that they are so incompetent when it comes to traffic safety that they will, without McCusker's supervision, endanger peoples lives. Therefore, in this case, as democracy demands, they should overrule McCusker and do what the overwhelming majority want: Put things back the way they were and permit no more experiments with long established commuter routes without viable alternatives being in place.

Daniel N. Paul

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