Peaceful pro-life grandma Linda Gibbons to remain in jail while Crown decides next move
TORONTO, October 6, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Pro-life prisoner of conscience Linda Gibbons will remain in jail until her next scheduled court appearance October 13 – unless the Crown decides to drop the charges before then, says Gibbons’ lawyer Daniel Santoro.
“Basically, I’m waiting on their decision. That’s what’s going on,” he told LifeSiteNews, “The ball’s in their court.”
Gibbons appeared at College Park Court Tuesday via video from Vanier Women’s Centre, where she has been in custody for five weeks following her September 2 arrest in front of the Morgentaler abortion facility on Hillsdale Avenue.
At the time of her arrest, Gibbons was walking peacefully back and forth outside the building on Hillsdale Avenue that houses the Morgentaler Abortion centre.
She held her sign that has a picture of a crying baby, with the words “Why Mom? When I have so much love to give,” as well as pamphlets and a model of a 10-week-old unborn child.
After the sheriff read Gibbons the text of the injunction prohibiting pro-life activities in front of the clinic three times, the police arrested her. “You arrest me while allowing the murder of babies? You have blood on your hands,” she said.
The 67-year-old pro-life grandmother was subsequently charged with obstructing a peace officer and disobeying a court order, which refers to that permanent injunction prohibiting certain activities within 500 feet of the entrance to the Morgentaler abortion centre.
Following Gibbons’ last two arrests outside the Hillsdale Avenue location – in August 2014 and March 2015 – the Crown dropped all charges, although she spent three months and seven weeks in jail, respectively, before it did so.
The charges were dropped because in both instances the Crown’s case was identical to an earlier conviction that Ontario Superior Court Justice Gary Trotter overturned in July 2014 on appeal.
Lawyer Santoro met Monday with Crown prosecutor Daniel Brandes for a pre-trial assessment, and told LifeSiteNews that it’s now a question of waiting to see what Brandes decides to do.
“He could call me tomorrow or today and say, ‘I’m dropping the charges,’” Santoro said, adding that if that were to happen, “We can get a judge’s order and get her [in court] earlier.”
The Crown is “deciding if the new charges are exactly the same as the charges for which she was acquitted,” he said. “The question is, is the current case exactly the same as that case?”
If the case is not moved forward, Gibbons will appear at College Park via video on October 13.
As with her appearance Tuesday, Gibbons refuses to speak in court or give her name, in solidarity with the unborn victims of abortion who have no voice.
Because she also refuses to accept bail conditions that would require her to stay away from abortion facilities, Gibbons has remained in jail for 35 days.
That brings the total amount of time Gibbons has spent behind bars for her peaceful witness to women and children threatened by the violence of abortion to 10 years, eight months and one week, and counting.