March 20, 2017 6:30 am
Updated: March 20, 2017 2:21 pm

Group home fire violation case sentencing adjourned for pre-sentencing report

Keith Charles talks on a cell phone across the street from the courthouse on Dundas St.

Liny Lamberink/AM980

Keith Charles’s request for a pre-sentence report was granted on Monday, at what would have been his sentencing hearing at a courthouse in London.

The group home operator was found guilty of 12 fire code violations related to a fire in November 2014 at 1451 Oxford St. that killed David MacPherson, 72.

Justice of the Peace Peter Aharan adjourned the hearing and said the request for a pre-sentence report was not unusual when jail time is considered. Before Charles delivered his submissions, Arahan said he was considering 30 days of jail time to be served on weekends and two years of probation.

The prosecution is recommending Charles pay $60,000 in fines, or $5,000 per count.

Outside the provincial offences offices at 824 Dundas St., Charles stood with a woman named Joanne as she boarded a paratransit bus in a wheelchair. She assured him “I’m on your side, I’m for you, I’m not against you,” and that she wished to speak to his lawyer.

Charles didn’t answer media questions as he walked to a parking lot across the street afterwards, except to say “I got an opportunity now to go back and help some people right now, thank God. That’s all I can say.”

The 2014 fire led the city of London to toughen its bylaws covering group homes. The new bylaw took effect four months ago.

Charles will be back in court March 30 at 10 a.m., to set a date for sentencing.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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