Man who pleads guilty in death of gay rights activist to be sentenced

By on March 24, 2016

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HALIFAX—A mentally ill man is due to be sentenced today after pleading guilty to manslaughter in the death of a well-known gay rights activist in Halifax.

Andre Noel Denny entered the plea last November in Nova Scotia Supreme Court.

Lawyers presented victim impact statements and arguments at a sentencing hearing last month that heard from friends and relatives of Raymond Taavel.

An agreed statement of facts says on the night of April 16, 2012, Denny failed to return to a Halifax-area forensic psychiatric facility after receiving a one-hour unescorted pass.

The statement says Denny was impaired by alcohol, cocaine and psychosis about seven hours later when he got into an argument with the 49-year-old outside a gay bar, punched him in the head and slammed his face into the pavement several times.

Crown attorney has asked Judge Peter Rosinski to sentence Denny to a prison term between seven and 10 years, with six years credit for time served.

The defence has argued that he should be sentenced to between five and six years in prison, which equates to time served.