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Fighter jailed for beating ex-girlfriend
Judge turns down defence's request for an intermittent jail term

Miranda Scotland
Northern News Services
Published Friday, May 24, 2013

An aspiring mixed martial arts fighter was sentenced to four months in jail Wednesday for an assault on his child's mother in which he choked her and stomped on her bare feet with cork-soled boots.

During the vicious beating, the victim suffered a large gash to her foot, which required 31 stitches to close, and bruising to her arms as well as near her collarbone.

The August incident began after the 30-year-old offender, who is not being named in the interest of protecting the victim's identity, went over to the victim's home to see his eight-month-old son. When the victim started asking about child support the offender went to leave but she blocked him from exiting the premises.

He then grabbed her near her throat and pushed her up against a wall, twisting her arm. Next he pulled her into the hall, threw her up against another wall and screamed at her before stomping on her bare feet.

The victim asked him to take her to the hospital and she became enraged when he refused. She started hitting him and he ran away.

The offender was later charged with assault causing bodily harm and was found guilty of the crime April 2 in territorial court after Judge Bernadette Schmaltz deemed his testimony from the trial to be the most "fantastical, farfetched and preposterous" evidence she has ever heard.

At a sentencing hearing Wednesday, Crown prosecutor Jen Bond argued that a custodial sentence is necessary given the level of violence displayed by the offender. However, she noted that the offender is someone who has no criminal record and has the support of his family.

Bond requested he be handed three to four months in jail and a period of probation.

Defence lawyer Caroline Wawzonek, on the other hand, asked for an intermittent sentence arranged around the offender's work schedule. Wawzonek said her client has learned his lesson and knows something similar cannot occur again. This incident was out of character, she added.

When given a chance to speak, the offender told the judge that he wants to move forward from this incident and is committed to being a loving, caring father to his child.

After considering all these points, Schmaltz turned down the defence's request for a conditional sentence.

"The courts can't downplay domestic violence," Schmaltz said, adding this type of offence is far too prevalent in the NWT. "It has to stop."

She also took issue with the fact that the baby was in the room while the beating took place and she wondered how the incident would affect him.

Schmaltz handed down a sentence of four months in jail and three years probation.

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