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Despite prosecutors initially believing that Linda O’Leary would face a maximum penalty of 18 months imprisonment and $1-million fine, following a brief legal bout, she will only be receiving a $10,000 fine and no jail time. The Public Prosecution Service of Canada announced this latest development on Thursday.
This was the original estimate given by O’Leary’s lawyer, Brian Greenspan. According to the National Post, he had “always maintained that the interpretation of the act was wrong and that, under the law, his client was facing at most a $10,000 fine and no jail time.”
“After careful review of the act, the Crown determined that the PPSC’s initial position on maximum allowable penalties was not accurate,” Nathalie Houle, a spokeswoman for the service wrote in an email. “The PPSC is now “of the opinion that the maximum applicable penalty for a pleasure craft’s contravention of s. 1007 of the Small Vessel Regulations is $10,000.00,” reports the National Post.
O’Leary, wife of the celebrity TV host and businessman Kevin O’Leary, was charged last month for alleged involvement in a fatal boating accident that left two dead on a different boat. At the time, she was charged with careless operation of a vessel under the Canada Shipping Act.
O’Leary was driving her husband’s boat at the time of the accident, while Richard Ruh, an upper-class doctor, drove his boat. He was also fined for not exhibiting his stern light which led to O’Leary not noticing his boat in time. He says that he will be fighting his charge.
O’Leary is now set to appear in court in Parry Sound on October 31.