Chaos at Vice Quebec offices A former far right leader walks

Chaos at Vice Quebec offices: A former far-right leader walks away with no criminal record

The former leader of a far-right group who wreaked havoc at a media outlet’s premises eventually got away with no criminal record to continue playing his “patriarchal role” in his family.

• Also read: The ex-boss of Atalante does not want any files for his crime

• Also read: Appeal against acquittal of leader of far-right group

“The public interest wants a father to continue to support his family. He has been a truck driver for 5 years, he is the sole breadwinner of his family, he is looking for a better job. He has the right to improve his financial situation,” said Judge Joëlle Roy, explaining why she gave Raphaël Lévesque absolution this Friday in the Montreal courthouse.

Lévesque, 39, is the former leader of the identity group Atalante. In 2018, unhappy with the coverage of his group by a Vice Quebec journalist, he used an excuse to have thugs open the media door.

Raphaël Lévesque, accompanied by his wife, this Friday at the Montreal courthouse.

Photo Michael Nguyen

Raphaël Lévesque, accompanied by his wife, this Friday at the Montreal courthouse.

The group then wreaked havoc, including throwing papers they had brought with them, and then left the scene.

Lévesque was initially acquitted by Judge Roy, but the Court of Appeal reversed the decision and found him guilty of burglary and trespassing. As usual, the file had been submitted to the magistrate for a sentence to be imposed.

Not even community works

And this morning it happened: not only will Lévesque not have a criminal record, he will also not have to do community service, even if he himself said he was ready to do so.

“There is no place for community work here,” the judge commented, qualifying the accused’s crime as “legally technical” and stressing that, in her opinion, Lévesque “took precautions to ensure that no crime would be committed when setting up his operation.”

In her decision, the judge recalled that Lévesque had apologized and that, to show his good faith, he was even willing to take money from his pocket. The judge ordered him to donate $1,000 to Reporters Without Borders and to pay $400 in compensation to a journalist affected by the events.

As part of his release, Levesque must serve 18 months of probation.

The Crown, which did not ask for imprisonment, wanted Lévesque to have a criminal record.

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