British Columbia

Queen of the North officer out on bail after getting 4 years

The former navigator of the Queen of the North ferry is out on bail, free again after having been sentenced to four years in prison for his role in the deadly sinking.

Karl Lilgert obtains bail after filing an appeal

Navigator Karl Lilgert out on bail

9 years ago
Duration 1:52
Queen of the North officer was sentenced to 4 years in prison

The former navigator of the Queen of the North ferry is out on bail, free again after he was sentenced Monday morning to four years in prison for his role in the deadly sinking.

Karl Lilgert's defence lawyer filed an appeal at 3 p.m. Monday, just hours after a sheriff took Lilgert into custody, leading him out of his sentencing hearing in Vancouver.

Defence lawyer Glen Orris indicated at the time of Lilgert's conviction that he would launch an appeal. Orris claimed that the judge failed to properly instruct the jury about the elements needed to prove criminal negligence causing death.

At 3:40 p.m., with $10,000 in bail being processed, Lilgert was spotted running down Hornby Street with television camera crews in pursuit.

2 ferry passengers dead

More than seven years ago, in March 2006, the Queen of The North went down after striking land at Gil Island, off B.C.'s central coast. Two passengers never made it off the ferry.

Lilgert was convicted last month of two counts of criminal negligence for causing the deaths of Gerald Foisy and Shirley Rosette.

In B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver  on Monday, Judge Sunni Stromberg-Stein handed Lilgert the four-year-sentence, and also a 10-year ban on operating vessels.

In delivering the sentence, Stromberg-Stein  said the "egregious" nature of the crime called for a strong sentence, as it was not an accident or lapse in judgment.

During the course of the trial, the court heard Lilgert was distracted, possibly by the presence of his former lover, quartermaster Karen Briker, who was the only other person on the bridge with him.

Lilgert testified in his own defence, telling the jury he was busy navigating the ship and ordering course changes as he was challenged with rough weather and unreliable equipment.

But Stromberg-Stein said it's clear Lilgert's relationship with Briker was a factor in the sinking.

With files from the CBC's Jason Proctor, Belle Puri and The Canadian Press