Originally set for February 5, the sentencing was delayed at the last minute when Gallagher’s lawyer stated that her client wished to attend the hearing in person in order to deliver a victim impact statement; the court granted the request and rescheduled the session to March 23.
According to published reports, Crown attorney Ruth Kleinhenz-Neilson says that Gallagher’s schedule next month won’t allow him the opportunity to be in Toronto for the sentencing; she has also stated that it’s likely that she will read Gallagher’s statement on behalf of her client.
Gallagher is reportedly tied up with commitments in March, including headlining a charity concert in London on behalf of the Teenager Cancer Trust. The charity marks 10 years of support at its annual week-long series of music and comedy concerts at the Royal Albert Hall; acts include Depeche Mode, Them Crooked Vultures, The Specials and The Who – Gallagher headlines the March 25th concert.
While there’s little doubt that Noel’s appearance in court would have created a media circus, the sentencing is two days prior to his concert event; it would be interesting to know if alternate technical arrangements could have been made for Gallagher to be linked up live with the court session, somehow – via satellite, Skype, or some other method. I have zero experience with the concept, but I wonder how much stronger the message is when delivered in these situations straight from the victim – in other words, is it possible that the emotion, tone and impact are watered down somewhat when delivered by a third party?
Either way, the March 23 session could bring an end to the case, unless the judge delays sentencing for some reason, including consideration of whatever message is delivered by Gallagher. The former Oasis leader suffered three broken ribs when Daniel Sullivan snuck through security, ran onstage and tackled Gallagher from behind in mid-song, causing him to crash hard into his monitors; the band was forced to cancel a series of shows as a result of the incident.
Sullivan has already pled guilty to assault causing bodily harm in the case; Gallagher is reportedly suing him for up to $2 million dollars in damages.
Oasis – Toronto attack by Daniel Sullivan
Virgin Music Festival, September 2008