James, 27, pleaded guilty in Superior Court to one count of participating in a terrorist group, an offence that carries a maximum 10-year jail term. He received seven years plus a day, but with time served taken into account on the customary two-for-one basis, he was to be freed from Maplehurst prison shortly after leaving court.
“[James] actually disassociated himself with the group before the arrests and moved in a different direction,” Justice Bruce Durno [aka dhimmi scumbag] said in approving the joint Crown-defence sentencing submission.
James, who spent just under three years and nine months in pretrial custody, was also handed three years probation, a lifetime weapons ban and an order requiring he submit a sample to the national DNA databank.
James, in a dark hoodie, blue shirt and close-cropped hair, chose to say nothing when asked by the judge if he wanted to make a statement.
James became involved with the terrorist group in 2005, Crown attorney Jason Wakely noted during his sentencing submission. In November of that year, James traveled from Toronto to Lahore, Pakistan, to obtain paramilitary training from one of the jihadist camps in Waziristan or the Northwest Frontier Province.
“His purpose was to later use his paramilitary training for the benefit of [the terrorist group],” Mr. Wakely told the court, noting the group’s goal was to further the cause of violent jihad.
But while in Pakistan, James contracted a serious medical condition that limited his health and mobility, the judge heard.
“This disrupted his plan,” Mr. Wakely said. “The Crown does not allege that James actually received paramilitary training.”
While overseas, James kept in frequent contact with a member of the terrorist group, speaking in “guarded language” because he was conscious of surveillance, Mr. Wakely said. But weeks after returning to Toronto in March 2006, he became “disgruntled” with the way the group was operating, and gradually severed ties.
He was arrested that June.
Defence lawyer Donald McLeod said his client “saw the light” after his return from Pakistan, realizing the terrorist group’s goals did not line up with his view of the Muslim religion.
James had mixed emotions about yesterday’s proceedings, Mr. McLeod said, “but I think now he can look forward to sort of doing things differently, better.”