WCB hostage-taker gets 11-year sentence
The man who took nine people hostage at the offices of the Workers' Compensation Board in Edmonton wiped tears from his eyes as he was sentenced Tuesday to 11 years in prison.
Patrick Clayton, 40, pleaded guilty two weeks ago to pointing a firearm, possession of a weapon and taking a hostage in the Oct. 21, 2009, incident.
"This was reckless and patently dangerous conduct that engendered real fear in the minds of the hostages," Justice Sterling Sanderman said in delivering his decision in Edmonton Court of Queen's Bench.
Clayton will actually serve 6 years and 10 months in prison. The judge gave him 4 years and two months credit for time already served. He will have to serve at least half his sentence before he is eligible for parole.
The fact that Clayton showed remorse and genuine concern for the welfare of his hostages were mitigating factors in the judge's sentencing decision. He said he believed that Clayton's apology to his victims in court last week was genuine.
But the judge noted that Clayton did not apologize to the WCB.
"Your quarrel was with the corporation, but your actions were directed towards individuals with whom you had no quarrel. They were innocent," he said.
The Crown wanted the judge to sentence Clayton to 14 years in prison.
Clayton has already served two years at the Edmonton Remand Centre. His lawyer argued that should count for four years of prison time, so Clayton should be sentenced to another two years in custody, followed by a three-year probation term.