Vancouver riot cases stymied by TV-in-court dispute
Beauty queen rioter feels she is already suffering from media attention
A former beauty queen contestant has become the second person who's offering to plead guilty to charges in the Stanley Cup riot, only to have the case delayed over arguments about allowing TV cameras in the courtroom.
Sophie Laboissonniere, 20, of Richmond, B.C., is accused of break and enter and taking part in a riot.
The Crown has applied to have the case broadcast on TV as it plans to do with others accused of taking part in the riot last June 15.
Laboissonniere's lawyer, David Baker, says his application opposing cameras will delay the guilty plea and sentencing and waste court resources in the process.
"Were it not for the Crown's application I probably would have already entered a plea and had a date for sentencing set," he said outside court.
In a posting on her now-defunct blog, Laboissonniere said she was crowned Miss Congeniality at a Miss Coastal Vancouver pageant last year.
Allegedly looted drug store
She's accused of helping loot the downtown London Drugs store during the riot that broke out after the Vancouver Canucks lost the Stanley Cup final to the Boston Bruins.
Baker says she's doing everything she can to atone for her public mistakes but suffers through more media attention than others because of her beauty queen past.
The first person to plead guilty in the riot, Ryan Dickinson, will also have his case delayed over the issue of cameras in the court after his lawyer told court Tuesday that he will challenge the Crown application to broadcast the proceedings.
Dickinson pleaded guilty to participating in a riot and breach of recognizance related to a previous assault charge.
Laboissonniere and Dickinson are among 30 people who have been charged so far with riot-related offences.
However, Vancouver police have recommend charges against 70 others and say hundreds of people could eventually be charged in the riot that caused millions of dollars in damage to businesses.