William Feldhoff sentenced for weapons related charges
Two years ago, a neighbourhood in Barrie was paralyzed as police and bomb experts scoured a house and yard looking for weapons, explosives, and clues to a murder.
Today, the man behind the arsenal found at a Virgilwood Crescent home, William Feldhoff, was sentenced in a Barrie court.
He has been sentenced to four-and-a-half years in jail, but he'll only spend another 18 months behind bars because he was given credit for time served.
“It's disappointing,” says Maureen Broley, one of his neighbours. “It's a minimal sentence for Mr. Feldhoff.”
In July 2012 police spent nearly two weeks removing explosive devices, dangerous chemicals, illegal firearms and booby traps from 30 Virgilwood Cres. During that time, 22 homes were evacuated. Feldhoff plead guilty to 16 restricted weapons charges.
Justice Glenn Krelove called this a unique case because of Feldhoff’s obsession with the possibility of a third world war but said, “The potential for a major catastrophe was significant in that a fire at 30 Virgilwood would have had devastating results.”
And there was the risk the carelessly stored weapons would fall into the hands of criminals if there was a break and enter,” he said.
The Crown wanted a 10-year sentence, but Krelove took into consideration a psychiatric assessment that deemed Feldhoff of a low risk to re-offend. The man also didn't have a previous criminal record. The judge also considered his age – he turns 78 in August.
“It is my view 10 years would undoubtedly be a life sentence,” Krelove said.
Defence lawyer Benard Cugleman says today sentence is fair.
“(Justice Krelove) understood the concerns of residents and he understood the factors that got Willy Feldhoff to take the steps he did,” he says.
However, neighbours now worry about what could happen if and when Feldhoff is released from custody.
“They say he's a survivalist,” Broley says. “I respect that, but how do you change your behaviour after only a few years in jail.”
Feldhoff is meanwhile facing an accessory charge for the 1978 murder of Michael Traynor. Feldhoff’s son Donald is facing a charge of first degree murder. That case is still before the court.
The Crown will now apply to the court to take possesion of William Feldhoff's house. Submissions will be made in August.