After weighing the evidence, a provincial court judge has concluded Robert Park should be prohibited from possessing firearms for the maximum allowed period of five years.
“The potential for harm to any and every member of society if Robert Park is permitted to have firearms in his possession is extremely high,” Judge Kymil Howe said in Corner Brook provincial court Friday.
Park is the McIvers man who in February 2017 attacked another man with an axe on a snowmobile trail near his home. When police went to his house they found him barricaded inside and a standoff ensued that lasted nearly 28 hours.
Homes in the area were evacuated, and police personnel from a number of Royal Canadian Mounted Police detachments were sent in to assist with the situation including emergency response teams from this province and New Brunswick.
Park was arrested after he agreed to leave his home and charged with assault causing bodily harm, assault with a weapon, two counts of uttering threats to cause death or bodily harm, three counts of possession of a firearm authorized for members of the Forces or peace officers, three counts of improper firearm storage and a breach of a recognizance.
He was found not criminally responsible for his actions in August 2017 and has been at the Waterford Hospital, from where he appeared via video conference, ever since.
Howe said she believed the facts in the case spoke for themselves with a seemingly random victim, who was injured with an axe, a subsequent lengthy standoff with police and all the firearms and ammunition readily at hand.
In light of that, she was of the belief that it was reasonable to impose the prohibition order.
She acknowledged that the defence did not consent to the prohibition.
The firearms prohibition was just one application that Howe had been tasked to deal with. The other involved the disposition of the firearms seized from Park’s home and others turned over to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police by his father.
She said she did not have an application from or in relation to Park’s father, so she had no jurisdiction to order any firearms returned to him. She said the legal status of the two firearms he says are his remains in limbo.
As for Park’s own six firearms and any ammunition seized, Howe ordered them forfeited.
Savage, model 93, 22-caliber
Winchester, model 100, 308
Savage, WMR Mk2, 22-caliber
Savage, Axis, 22-caliber
Remington 812, 12-gauge (owned by Robert Park’s father)
Remington, 770, 3006
BayCo 12-gauge shotgun (owned by Robert Park’s father)