Klein pie-thrower gets jail time

A 25-year-old man will spend weekends in jail for throwing a pie at Ralph Klein.

The man who hit Alberta Premier Ralph Klein in the face with a cream pie at last year's Calgary Stampede is going to spend his weekends in jail.

Christopher Geoghegan, 25, was sentenced Monday to 30 days, starting this weekend. The sentence includes 40 hours of community service and three months' probation.

The self-proclaimed political activist has also been told to keep away from Klein and his family members, and stay at least two blocks away from the premier's home and Calgary office.

Calgary's Geoghegan, who pleaded guilty to assault in May, calls the jail sentence too harsh for the nature of the offence.

"The case precedent is to give a non-custodial sentence and they've broken that now and set a higher bar,'" he said.

Geoghegan's lawyer also says the sentence is inappropriate, and promises to launch an immediate appeal.

The Crown had asked for a 30-day sentence.

Klein was hit by a pie during the 2003 Calgary Stampede. He had started speaking at his annual breakfast when a man rushed the stage and smashed the banana cream pie in his face.

At the time, Klein wiped the pie off his face and continued his speech, but later complained that he had been hurt.

Geoghegan and two other male students, a 19-year-old and a 20-year-old, were arrested at the scene, but charges against the other two were dropped.

In 2000, while visiting P.E.I., then-prime minister Jean Chrétien was hit in the face with a pie by a protester. The man was sentenced to 30 days in jail, but a higher court said a conditional discharge would have been more appropriate and reduced his sentence to the eight days already served.