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Man gets 97 days for spousal assault

Tim Edwards
Northern News Services
Published Wednesday, May 26, 2010

SOMBA K'E/YELLOWKNIFE - A Yellowknife man who attacked his girlfriend during a dispute over missing alcohol was sentenced to 97 days in jail on May 12.

Before sentencing in territorial court, the victim took the witness stand in a show of support for her ex-boyfriend, stating she's not afraid of him as long as he stays sober.

When he entered the room, the accused motioned "I love you" to her by pointing at his eye, heart, and then to her, which she accepted with a smile.

"I don't believe he belongs in jail," the victim told the court.

She said when he is released from jail she hopes they can work together to mend their relationship and go to alcohol counselling together.

"I'd rather him not drink at all, period ... because he becomes violent," said the victim.

Defence lawyer Abdul Khan told the court the attacker had been taking alcohol counselling while in custody since the attack on March 19.

Judge Christine Gagnon recounted the incident stating the couple were drinking together in the woman's apartment. The man became angry when the victim asked him where all the alcohol had gone, and the next thing she remembered she was lying face down on her bed being hit repeatedly in the back of the head, and in the face.

She had bruises on her face and a swollen eye after the incident, according to police testimony.

When the police arrived, both the attacker and victim were waiting in the lobby of the apartment building, as they were no longer in an argument.

After the victim's statement, the attacker told the court he felt remorseful for his actions.

"The pain I have caused is immeasurable. The gravity of the offence is huge," he said.

He told the victim "I'm terribly sorry, I love you."

The man has a criminal record which includes drug trafficking, as well as two prior convictions for sexual assault, though Gagnon said based on the sentences he received previously, she assumed they were not "major sexual assaults."

On May 12, he received 30 days for breach of probation, an additional 30 days for a breaching a prior probation condition ordering him to stay away from the victim, one day to be served concurrently for failing to keep the peace, and 30 days for the assault. He was also given one day and charged $837 for damage he caused to property owned by Northern Property REIT.

The man had already served 54 days in jail awaiting his sentence.

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