Keith Charles outside of the Provincial Offences court on Dundas St., March 20, 2017. (Photo by Miranda Chant, Blackburn News.)

Pre-Sentence Report Delays Charles Sentencing

It will be roughly six weeks before a London group home operator convicted of a dozen fire code violations in connection with a deadly blaze will learn his fate.

Keith Charles was to be sentenced at the Provincial Offences court on Monday. However the matter was put off to allow Charles, who is representing himself, to obtain a pre-sentence report.

Charles made the request for a pre-sentence report after Justice of the Peace Peter Aharan said he was considering a 30 day jail sentence to be served on weekends. The prosecution had been recommending Charles pay $5,000 per count, for a total of $60,000 in fines, and 18 months probation.

Last week, Charles was found guilty of the fire code violations at 1451 Oxford St. where 72-year-old David MacPherson was killed in a blaze in November of 2014. The group home for high need individuals was operated by Charles under the name People Helping People

In granting Charles’ request, Aharan said “it is not unusual when a term of custody is being considered” to obtain a pre-sentence report.

Charles, who continues to operate other group homes in the city, had little to say to reporters following the proceedings.

“I got an opportunity now to go back and help some people right now, thank God. That’s all I can say,” said Charles, who had hoped to be sentenced to fire protection training programs.

A new sentencing date will be set on March 30.