Sentencing hearing for Calgary man convicted of murder in Ivy Wick’s death further delayed

Justin Bennet was charged in September 2018 with murder in the 2017 death of three-year-old Ivy Wick. Obtained by Global News

A sentencing hearing for a Calgary man convicted of second-degree murder for killing his girlfriend’s three-year-old daughter has been further delayed.

Justin Bennett was convicted last year in the beating death of Ivy Wick. She was injured on Sept. 27, 2017, and died in hospital of head and brain injuries eight days later.

An autopsy revealed she suffered blunt force trauma, which prompted homicide investigators to take over the case.

Bennett was charged a year later following a confession to undercover police officers. He told them he had become angry after being interrupted by the child, smashed her in the head, threw her against a wall then tripped her

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He fired his lawyer earlier this month and was ordered to get a new one. His former defence counsel Allan Fay asked to withdraw from the case, citing “irreconcilable differences” between himself and his client.

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Bennett appeared in court by phone Tuesday from the Calgary Remand Centre, where he remains in isolation due to COVID-19. He told the court he is waiting for Legal Aid to give him the go ahead to hire a new lawyer.

“They told me it could take up to a month or a couple of months. I’m just waiting until my new counsel gets the certificate so she can contact the Crown prosecutor and (get) everything started so it’s going to take a little bit of time,” Bennett said.

Click to play video: 'Calgary man convicted in Ivy Wick’s 2017 murder searches for new lawyer'
Calgary man convicted in Ivy Wick’s 2017 murder searches for new lawyer

Crown prosecutor Suzanne Kendall suggested the matter be put over for two weeks to Feb. 1 and that she would follow up to see where things stand to “ensure Legal Aid understands there’s some need to move this matter on.”

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“While I appreciate it does take Legal Aid some time to issue a new certificate, in my respectful submission several months to conduct an investigation obviously is inappropriate in the circumstances,” she said.

The original sentencing hearing was delayed last fall after Bennett demanded a second opinion on his psychiatric health.

He complained that Dr. Reilly Smith, the psychiatrist who did his assessment, didn’t like him and showed bias in his report.

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