Man found not guilty of hiring man to kill wife gets 2 years on lesser charges

Appeal Court says lawyer's performance wasn't 'brilliant,' but was good enough

A Nova Scotia man found not guilty of trying to hire a hitman to kill his ex-wife has been sentenced to two years in prison on lesser charges.

Roderick Domoslai, 53, of Sydney was sentenced Monday in Nova Scotia Supreme Court on charges of counsel to commit arson and counsel to commit perjury.

Justice Gregory Warner ordered Domoslai to serve 18 months for having a woman give false evidence on a charge that he breached a court order to stay away from his ex-wife, Dawn MacNeil. The false testimony led to Domoslai's acquittal on that charge.

Warner said there was a need for deterrence in this case because "perjury strikes at the very root of the justice system."

Domoslai paid $20K: witness

During the trial, a witness testified Domoslai paid him $20,000 as a down payment to murder MacNeil. The witness said Domoslai promised $100,000 if the job was completed.

In December, Warner found Domoslai not guilty of the more serious charge. He was critical of Domoslai's truthfulness but said the Crown had not proved beyond a reasonable doubt that he had hired the man to kill MacNeil.

Perjury 'very serious'

Crown attorney Richard Hartlen said perjury in cases of alleged domestic abuse prevents the court system from protecting victims.

"When they're in the circumstance of a woman who has turned to the justice system for the only lawful protection she can seek, when someone like Mr. Domoslai allegedly breaches that type of order, it's very serious."

Domoslai was also ordered to serve an additional six months for counselling an acquaintance to burn MacNeil's vehicle. That arson did not occur.

A charge of obstruction of justice was stayed.

Domoslai disappointed

Domoslai's lawyer for the sentencing, Adam Rodgers, said his client was not surprised by the sentence but was "disappointed that the positive pre-sentence report didn't lead to a sentence that would have allowed him to serve it within the community."

Rodgers told the court Domoslai has suffered because he has not been able to see his children since the initial charges were laid in 2013.

But Warner noted Domoslai has not shown remorse or taken responsibility for his actions. 

Victim's parents

MacNeil did not attend the sentencing and declined to give a victim impact statement. 

Her father, Michael MacNeil, said the family had hoped for a longer sentence but was ultimately satisfied with the judge's decision.