StCatharinesStandard.ca, January 2, 2013

This article was originally published on www.stcatharinesstandard.ca, Wednesday January 2, 2013

http://www.stcatharinesstandard.ca/2013/01/02/convicted-trafficker-says-jail-depressing

Convicted trafficker says jail depressing

Wednesday, January 2, 2013
By Grant LaFleche
The Standard

ST. CATHARINES – A St. Catharines man convicted of being part of a cocaine trafficking ring told a court Wednesday the time he spent in jail before his trial has scarred him mentally.

During a sentencing hearing at the St. Catharines courthouse, Len Farinacci Jr. called conditions at the Niagara Detention Centre “horrifying.”

He said during the year he spent in pre-trial custody at the Thorold jail, he was kept in maximum security where his wing was in frequent lockdown, meaning prisoners are not allowed out of their cells, sometimes for days.

He said the food was bad, he lost weight and twice caught the Norwalk virus.

“Today, I have depression, anxiety and paranoia from the things I saw. I also have Type-1 diabetes,” said Farinacci, who was convicted in December of conspiracy to traffick cocaine and possession of the proceeds of crime over $5,000.

He is currently out on bail, living under house arrest with conditions at a relative’s home.

He was charged, along with his brother Lucas Farinacci, in a case that involved wiretap evidence that linked the pair to a cocaine ring dating back to 2008.

Farinacci’s lawyer, Margaret Bojanowska, said given the conditions her client endured during his year in the jail and the strict conditions of his house arrest, the court should consider him as having already served the equivalent of four years in prison.

Bojanowska said her client should be sentenced to five years in prison, minus those four.

Assistant Crown attorney David King said there was no way to link Farinacci’s anxiety or depression with the conditions at the detention centre or the terms of his bail.

King said the very real possibility of being found guilty and serving a prison sentence could have caused Farinacci considerable stress.

He said Farinacci’s role in the cocaine ring was “the boots on the ground that made the whole operation work,” and was critical enough to warrant an eight-year prison sentence with no special consideration given to the time he has already served.

Farinacci’s sentencing hearing is scheduled to continue Jan 16 at the St. Catharines courthouse at 9:30 a.m.

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