Woman guilty of taking knife to kindergarten graduation - Mar. 03, 2014
According to definitions in the Criminal Code, a kindergarten graduation is a public meeting and a hunting knife carried in a belt is a weapon.
That was the determination made by Provincial Court Judge David C. Walker Wednesday morning in St. Stephen Provincial Court when he found Marlene Tobin, 32, of St. Stephen, guilty of carrying a weapon to a public meeting.
Tobin will be sentenced April 8 at 1:30 p.m.
The incident occurred last June at Milltown Elementary School
The judge stated that frankly, he did not believe Tobin’s testimony during a trial earlier in February that she carried the knife because it matched her outfit that day and because she intended to cut roses with her young daughter following the graduation ceremony.
He also said he did not accept Tobin’s evidence that she always carried a knife to be prepared, meaning ready to cut ends off straws or open lunch packages when out with her boyfriend and their combined seven children.
Walker said he was satisfied that the Crown had proved its case beyond a reasonable doubt. He ordered a pre-sentence report and asked for the submission of victim impact statements.
Walker also said there was “bad blood” between Tobin and the school where one of the teachers had testified against her in another case.
He said he believed Tobin wore the knife in a sheath under a translucent top to the graduation that day in an attempt to intimidate school staff, the parents and others attending. There were about 150 in attendance that day for the ceremony.
Parents noticed the knife and reported it to the principal. The judge said Tobin used swear words, loudly spoken, when she was approached by the principal and asked to surrender the knife, which she finally did, dropping it to the floor.
Tobin continued her verbally abusive behaviour when approached by a member of the RCMP who ended up escorting her out of the school.
The judge said Tobin was willfully blind to the reaction wearing a knife with a four-inch blade to the school would have.
Before court proceedings began, Tobin was asked to take a plastic water bottle she carried into the room outside into the hallway because drinks are not allowed in the court area.
She protested, but finally did so after being told by first a sheriff and then by a court staff member.
In the midst of the judge delivering his decision, Tobin abruptly stood up, walked to the open doorway of the courtroom, picked up a bottle, stood in the open doorway taking a drink. She put the bottle back down on the floor and returned to her seat.