Schmidt starts jail sentence today
Michael Schmidt is off to jail today.
The Durham area raw milk advocate is expected to head to jail each Friday evening at 6pm and be released each Monday morning at 6am for the next 15 weeks after being sentenced to 60 days in jail for obstruction of justice.
The sentence, which came down on Wednesday in Walkerton court, shocked Schmidt, his co-op members and his followers.
Earlier this week, Schmidt told Dock News he was not afraid to go to jail for his cause but admits he was expecting a suspended sentence.
Skip Taylor is the legal representative for the food co-op that runs Glencolton Farm.
He says the Crown was only asking for a 30 day conditional or suspended sentence so when the judge doubled it and made it a custodial sentence there was real surprise from those in court that day.
He calls the judge’s decision harsh.
Schmidt’s social media post on Friday, November 10
Taylor says it has never been the co-op’s or Schmidt’s plan to flout the law and as it stands now, it is not illegal to drink unpasteurized milk in this province.
It is illegal however to sell it.
Taylor says he and the other members of the food co-op all own the dairy farm together.
“Michael Schmidt has no more stake in it.”
Schmidt was one of about 70 people who prevent authorities from seizing equipment during a raid on the farm two years ago.
Charges against a handful of others have been dropped.
But Taylor says this isn’t over.
Schmidt plans to appeal on the guilty verdict, the sentence and the length of time it took to come to fruition in the courts.
If his appeal application is accepted, Taylor says there’s a good chance Schmidt will be out on bail during that process.
In the meantime, Taylor says the incarceration, even though its just on weekends, is going to be very tough on all of them including Schmidt’s family.
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