Your Ward News editor faces sentencing today; says ready to go to jail

The editor of a free Toronto-based publication faces sentencing today for wilfully promoting hatred against women and Jews.

The prosecution wants to see James Sears jailed for 12 months.

The defence wants the editor of Your Ward News given a conditional sentence.

Following sentencing submissions, Sears accused his lawyer of “throwing the case” and fired him.

He has since prepared lengthy submissions aiming to contest his conviction.

The publisher of Your Ward News, LeRoy St. Germaine, is also slated for a sentencing hearing today.

Sears, 55, and Germaine, 74, were each found guilty in January of two hate-promotion counts for the contents of 22 issues of Your Ward News. Court heard the publication had a circulation of 300,000 in the Toronto area and beyond as well as an online presence.

Among other things, the publication depicted in words and imagery vile stereotypes of Jews, denied the Holocaust, claimed women were inferior and that they bring rape on themselves.

The Crown called for the maximum six-month jail term for each offence to be served consecutively — one year behind bars — plus three years probation during which Sears would be prohibited from publishing any kind of written material. The defence argued a four-month conditional sentence would be appropriate.

Since firing his lawyer — Dean Embry has denied any wrongdoing — Sears said he has spent recent months studying case law and the Criminal Code. Boasting of a 170 IQ and “impeccable” communication skills, Sears said he has prepared “truly dynamite” filings.

Besides his lengthy constitutional submissions on which Ontario court Judge Richard Blouin has yet to rule, Sears said he had also prepared a notice of appeal he hoped to file the “moment the judge leads me out in cuffs.”

“That way, I can get sprung from the can on ‘bail pending appeal’ within a few days — hopefully in three days,” Sears told The Canadian Press. “I want to go down into the hell of jail and rise again, like Jesus did after the Jews lobbied to have the Roman courts crucify him for anti-Semitic hate speech.”

Prosecutor Robin Flumerfelt declined to discuss the case.

Sentencing for St. Germaine, who has retained his trial lawyer, had been postponed to allow for preparation of a Gladue report for Indigenous offenders.

Sears, a married father who was found guilty of sexual assault in the 1990s and lost his medical licence over sexual impropriety with female patients, said he saw no need to hire a new lawyer.

“Clearly, an intelligent layman can do a much better job of arguing a criminal case than can a trained lawyer with no emotional investment in the case,” he said. “The latter may even throw the case if he has disdain for his client.”

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