Road rage blamed on Swissair stress
Last updated Dec 20 2005 10:27 AM AST
A motorcyclist blames the Swissair disaster seven years ago for a recent fit of road rage.
Donald Hanlon, 41, of Burton, N.B., says a vehicle cut him off when he was was driving his motorbike four months ago.
He reached through the window and grabbed Denise Mooney, 21, choking and hitting her in the face.
Hanlon later pleaded guilty to assault.
According to a pre-sentence report, Hanlon is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder from his military duties working in the morgue after the Swissair crash in 1998.
All 229 people on board Flight 111 were killed in the crash off Peggy's Cove. Hundreds of military and civilian workers spent weeks recovering body parts.
Hanlon was given a conditional discharge in court last week.
Capt. Virginia Thompson, who deals with post-traumatic stress cases for the military, wasn't involved in Hanlon's case, but says his defence is understandable.
"A lot of people who have issues with post-traumatic stress disorder, and including a lot of the people who worked on the SwissAir, what happens is a lot of them do experience feelings of anger and rage," Thompson said.
The victim's father, Darryl Mooney, is also a military man. He says hearing Thompson's explanation makes it easier to accept the sentence.
"I guess if any of your children get hurt there is a bit of anger. But I don't feel anger towards him," Mooney said.
Hanlon is on probation for a year. He must keep the peace and stay away from Denise Mooney.
Former cop gets house arrest
Victim was in witness protection program
By AMY SMITH Provincial Reporter
A former RCMP officer accused of sexual assaulting a woman in the witness protection program has been sentenced to six months house arrest.
Franklyn (Frank) Douglas Dorrington of Fall River, a 19-year police veteran, was also sentenced to a six month curfew following the house arrest.
The sentence, handed down Friday at the Nova Scotia Supreme Court, was a joint recommendation that had the approval of the victim.
Mr. Dorrington, a former corporal with the Truro-Northeast Nova major crime unit, had been facing a three-week trial in October on charges of sexual assault and breach of trust.
The charges involved eight encounters from 1998 and 2003"”three involving intercourse and five fellatio.
Crown attorney Paul Scovil said the former officer believed the encounters were consensual but Mr. Dorrington's "position of authority or trust took away any consent that might have been there."
"He had been her witness protection program liaison for approximately a year before these started," he said.
"She felt that she would have to go along because otherwise her position in the witness protection program would be compromised."
Mr. Scovil said there was no physical force or violence involved.
He said Mr. Dorrington will undergo counselling as a part of his sentence.
He had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress syndrome, which stemmed from his role as part of an emergency response team to vehicle accidents and in recovering remains from the crash of Swissair Flight 111 in 1998.
"It's unfortunate that his career is over. It's unfortunate that the individual involved felt that she had to accede to his overtures. It's unfortunate all around," Mr. Scovil said Saturday.
"However in relation to his sentencing, we felt that it was appropriate."
Mr. Dorrington's lawyer Duncan Beveridge could not be reached for comment Saturday.
Yeah, we have a great health care system in Canada, but it still has holes. Most notable among them being the total lack of funding for mental health disorders.
"Those Who Don't Learn From The Past Are Doomed To Repeat It."
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