Men guilty of polygamy given get house arrest

CRANBROOK, British Colombia (AP) - A British Colombia Supreme Court judge has imposed conditional sentences on two men convicted of polygamy, sparing them jail time.

Winston Blackmore was convicted of having 24 wives, while the court found James Oler had five wives. Blackmore's six-month conditional sentence to be served under house arrest allows him to go to work and deal with medical emergencies. Oler's term is three months of house arrest. Both face 12 months of probation

Justice Sheri Ann Donegan said Tuesday that while both men are hard-working and otherwise law-abiding, a discharge by the court would not have been appropriate, given the gravity of their offences. She says Blackmore "has made it clear that no sentence will deter him from practicing his faith." He has 149 children.

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