Halifax standoff couple urged to retain lawyer

June 7, 2004

 CTV.ca News Staff

Larry Finck

Larry Finck

There was bizarre court appearance Monday for a couple charged in a three-day standoff with police in Halifax last month.

Larry Finck and Carline VandenElsen are representing themselves as they face charges related to the standoff.

"It would be nice to maybe see if we could get some due process today, maybe even be allowed to speak," said Finck, as he was led into court wearing handcuffs.

The standoff started when police attempted to serve the couple with an apprehension order from the Children's Aid Society. The pair have a five-month-old baby girl.

According to ATV's Joanne Clancy, reporting from the courthouse, the couple are asking for the following:

The couple said they've been cornered, boxed in, intimidated and terrorized.

Finck faces firearms charges. During the standoff, he fired shots at police and Children's Aid workers. The couple both face charges of illegal confinement of their daughter.

Sheriffs carried seven boxes containing documents Finck rummaged through as he spoke. He talked non-stop for about 25 minutes, standing the entire time. He also borrowed a copy of the Criminal Code from one of the Crown prosecutors.

VandenElsen, meanwhile, sat silently in court, with sheriffs on either side.

Finck said he still doesn't have all the paperwork he needs. He's also claiming that he and his wife have been denied access to paper and pencils.

"We are not prepared to proceed," Finck said. "The oppression continues and continues."

The judge has repeatedly urged the couple to get legal counsel, as they're facing serious charges.

"We don't want your lawyers," Finck said. "Sign us out on bail with reasonable conditions."

Three days have been set aside for the bail hearing. One attorney said if the couple had a lawyer, the hearing could have been finished in a day.

The couple will be back in court Tuesday for a second day of hearings.

With files from ATV's Joanne Clancy