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Former jail guard gets house arrest

John McFadden
Northern News Services
Monday, June 5, 2017

A former jail guard at the Fort Smith Correctional Centre has been sentenced to three months house arrest after being convicted of assaulting a woman three times last summer.

Darrell Loutit, 33, pleaded guilty in territorial court May 29 in Yellowknife.

Ten other charges against him related to the same incident were then dropped by the Crown prosecutor.

News/North has chosen not to reveal the identity of the victim

Court heard that according to an agreed statement of facts, Loutit attacked the victim three times between July 1 and Aug. 7, 2016.

He choked her, punched her in the face, and threw a cellphone, again hitting her in the face.

She suffered bruising and scratches. The victim's sister witnessed at least one of the attacks.

Court heard that Loutit, who had no previous criminal record, was suffering from alcohol and cocaine addictions at the time of the assaults.

He has also been diagnosed with Tourette's Syndrome which his Edmonton-based lawyer Robert Davidson said could have been a contributing factor in his behaviour.

Davidson told the court Loutit worked at the Fort Smith jail from 2011 to

2016 but resigned after he was charged.

"He also worked for six years for the Metis government in Fort Smith. He was a volunteer fireman," Davidson told the court, suggesting the assaults were out of character for Loutit.

"He was also the vice-president of the Legion but has now left Fort Smith and lives in Halifax."

Loutit, who appeared in court wearing a dress shirt and slacks, had nothing to say to the judge before sentencing.

The victim was not in court.

In accepting the joint submission on sentencing, judge Robert Gorin said the sentence was appropriate and a conditional discharge would have been inappropriate.

"This involved choking and was a continuation of an assault. Mr. Loutit has an exemplary background with no criminal record. He has lost his job over this," Gorin said.

"However, these assaults had a high level of violence which is extremely concerning."

Gorin ordered Loutit have no contact with the victim or her sister.

He also sentenced Loutit to 40 hours of community service.

"This has been quite a fall for you," Gorin told Loutit after he'd been sentenced.

"You appear genuinely ashamed but I believe you will ultimately be able to put this behind you."

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