A man who previously pleaded guilty to beating his ex-girlfriend repeatedly with a stick in downtown Inuvik will spend half a year behind bars.
In Inuvik Territorial Court Nov. 25 the man, who will not be identified to protect the identity of the victim, was sentenced for assault with a weapon and two counts of breach of a recognizance. Judge Robert Gorin sentenced him to six months imprisonment and put him on 12 months probation following his release. He also ordered him to provide a DNA sample to police and barred him from owning a firearm for four years.
“Since the incident I’ve been doing my best to stay away from alcohol,” said the man in his defence. “I’ve been going on the land and not doing all the things I would be doing in Inuvik.”
Crown prosecutor Angie Paquin told court the man was in a relationship with the victim from November of 2018 to January of 2019, but after the two split up they remained close.
Then, on Aug. 10, 2019, the man, his ex-girlfriend and her brother went out drinking in Inuvik. During the course of the night, the man and the brother started arguing. The victim broke the fight up and then left to go to a nearby convenience store, but as she returned around 2:45 a.m. her brother and the man began fighting again.
The victim pulled her brother out of the altercation and the two began walking away from the man, however he began to follow them down the street. The victim yelled to him to back off and told him she would call the police if he continued, and he walked out of view.
However, shortly afterwards he came running at the two with a large wooden stick. Saying “Crack dealers don’t deserve to live,” the man attempted to strike the victim’s brother, who ran away. He then turned onto his ex-girlfriend, striking her on the arms, back of the head and face with the stick until it finally broke on her skull.
He continued to attack the victim with the stick, which broke a second time, until police approached him. He fled, but the RCMP officers caught up with him and arrested him. Paquin added that the man was under conditions to not drink at the time.
“He hit her on her face,” said Paquin. “There were multiple strikes, causing injuries. Despite the stick breaking, he continued hitting her until it broke again.
“Quite frankly, looking at the facts before the court (he) is lucky he’s not facing manslaughter.”
Defence Lawyer Charles Davison told court the man did not remember much of the evening.
“(He) is remorseful and showing responsibility,” said Davison. “He clearly was upset with the results of what he had done. He doesn’t remember a great deal of what happened because of the amount of alcohol he consumed.
“He has been sober since the incident.”
Judge Gorin said the level of violence in the case required imprisonment.
“He picked up a stick and began beating his victim with it,” said Gorin. “He beat her multiple times. The accused was on two different forms of court processes. He was on two separate recognizances out of Alberta at the time of the incident.
“She blocked his blows a number of times, so she has bruises on her hands, on her arms, on her legs, on her forearms, on her lower back, she was bleeding out of her mouth and her mouth was swollen out of the attack.”