By Joel Wittnebel/The Oshawa Express.
The fate of Robert Lutczyk has been set.
Following a dramatic final day of sentencing, Justice Alex Sosna handed down a sentence of eight years and four months to the former councillor for the 2012 kidnapping of city solicitor David Potts.
Justice Sosna cited several aggravating factors in his ruling, noting a clear motive of revenge by Lutczyk, who felt Potts held a personal vendetta against him, blaming him for his financial pitfalls that had left him nearly bankrupt.
Justice Sosna also noted that Lutczyk’s guilty plea on Dec. 1, 2015 would “carry little weight,” saying it would not play a significant role in reducing his sentence. The judge added that the apology given by Lutczyk following the first day of sentencing was “hollow and disingenuous.”
At issue on the final day was a decision for Justice Sosna between the prosecution’s desired 10-year sentence and the lesser penalty of eight years being pushed by Lutczyk’s laywer, Chris Murphy.
Regardless of the sentence Justice Sosna decided on, it was agreed upon by the two parties that Lutczyk would be given additional credit for the three and a half years already spent in prison – two days for every day behind bars. Typically, the credit is one-and-a-half days for every day served.
However, Justice Sosna disagreed, claiming he found no evidence to support giving Lutczyk extra credit.
“It would be an error,” he said, noting the lack of precedent on the matter.
Stopping what appeared to be the final word, Murphy urged Justice Sosna that the sentence about to be imposed was “outside the range” of what was originally discussed between the justice, Crown and defence.
Following a short recess, Sosna sided with Murphy and handed down his sentence of eight years and four months.
With credit for time served, Lutczyk will remain behind bars for another three years and four months.
As part of the sentence, Lutczyk was also given a lifetime prohibition from firearms, and banned from any contact with the Potts family. Justice Sosna had strong words for Lutczyk on this final matter, noting Potts, his wife Maureen and two of his children were in the courtroom.
“For the sake of the Potts family that is here and suffered in many ways, you would be best served to stay away from them.”
Throughout the sentencing, Lutczyk stood silent while Potts watched from the front row.
Following the sentence, Potts noting relief that the process was at an end, felt justice was served.
“Both council were working very hard, as was Justice Sosna, and I think the result was just,” he said.