Robin Wortman jailed 15 months for witness tampering, bail breaches

Former Calgary Homeless Foundation board of directors member Robin Wortman has been sentenced to 12 months for trying to get a witness to recant his sexual assault allegations.

Wortman was also sentenced to an additional three months custody for breaching a condition of his bail that he have no contact with the male, whom Wortman is accused of sexually assaulting.

In a written decision posted online, provincial court Judge Cheryl Daniel listed nearly a dozen aggravating factors to justify a sentence well in excess of the 60 to 90 days proposed by defence lawyer Jim Lutz.

“This was a sophisticated attempt to influence and deter the complainant’s testimony,” Daniel said, of Wortman providing phone numbers for both the Crown and his lawyer to the male while both were in the Calgary Remand Centre.

“Verbally, the accused urged the (complainant) to call both numbers and indicate that he had lied in his previous statements to the police.”

Daniel also noted Wortman lied in his own testimony before her, “painting himself as an innocent victim.”

She convicted Wortman, 64, in January, of two charges of breaching his earlier release conditions and attempting to obstruct justice in connection with two incidents at the remand centre when he ended up being house on the same unit as his alleged victim.

Wortman was in custody as a result of other allegations he violated the terms of a bail order.

Daniel said the obstruction charge alone was egregious.

“In the instant case, the primary sentencing factors are denunciation and deterrence of both this offender and others from engaging in this type of activity, as well as the protection of the public,” she wrote.

“The offence of obstruction of justice, in particular, is very serious.”

During Wortman’s trial his victim testified the offender approached him twice in October, 2018, while he was in his cell.

In the first instance Wortman appeared outside the man’s cell, dropping off a bag of Cheetos and telling the victim, who turned 20 later in the month, happy birthday.

Days later Wortman appeared at the door to his cell again, showed him a note with contact information for the Crown and Lutz through the window and then slid it under the door.

He then told the victim “call them when you get out, because you are the only thing keeping me from getting bail, and tell them you were lying.”

Wortman will stand trial this summer in connection with allegations he sexually assaulted the male.

With credit for pre-sentencing custody, Wortman had a little more than six months left to serve.

KMartin@postmedia.com

On Twitter: @KMartinCourts

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