No doubt man threatened to kill probation officer, court told

There can be no mistaking the menace in the words used by a Quebec man who threatened to "hunt down and kill" his probation officer.

Sylvain Laroche, 49, was charged with uttering threats and intimidation of a justice system official after a different court worker heard the disturbing threats.

"He said, 'I could pay people to do it but it's not worth it, I want to do it myself,'" prosecutor Sarah Firestone told the court.

Defence lawyer Michelle Stanford argued her client's first language is French, although he came to B.C. from Quebec 18 years ago. He denies making any of the threats, and suggested his words could have been misconstrued.

The man was serving an 18-month conditional sentence at the time, and apparently became angry when his supervisor refused to give him permission to go back east. He left on his trip anyway and was taken into custody when he returned.

B.C. Supreme Court Justice Dev Dley said linguistic barriers or not, Laroche aptly conveyed to one court worker what he wanted to do to another one.

"Whatever words may or may not have been used, the impression was clear - Mr. Laroche wanted (the worker) to understand he was going to kill (his probation officer)."

The judge added Laroche has shown he will only abide by court orders that suit him. His contention he had a "personality conflict" with just one worker and will do better with others carries little weight.

"It is not for the courts or the justice system to provide officers that are acceptable to him," said Dley. "The very people that could supervise him if he is released are the same people he has already threatened once."

Laroche will stay in custody at the Kamloops Regional Correctional Centre pending his Oct. 4 trial.

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