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Assault charge nets year of probation
Man pushed former spouse into wood stove during an argument at party

Miranda Scotland
Northern News Services
Published Wednesday, May 8, 2013

A 45-year-old man charged for pushing his spouse into a wood stove was sentenced to one day in jail and a year's probation in territorial court April 24.

The incident occurred at a party July 1, 2012 when the accused and the victim began arguing with each other. The man chased the woman around the kitchen and then pushed her, causing her to bounce against a wood stove and into a wall. She was knocked unconscious for several minutes.

Some of the party goers assisted the woman while others stopped the accused from, "trying to get at her."

By the time police arrived the man, who will not be named in order to protect the identity of the victim, had fled the scene. He turned himself in later after a warrant was issued for his arrest.

Meanwhile, the victim was taken to hospital. Her injuries consisted of a bump on the head but it could have been far worse, said Crown prosecutor Danielle Vaillancourt.

The Crown requested the accused receive 30 to 60 days in custody while defence lawyer Niko Homberg requested an alternative sentence for his client, who pleaded guilty to the assault charge.

Judge Garth Malakoe sided with the defence based on the man's short criminal record, his hardworking nature and commitment to his children. The man has only one conviction for a violent crime, which stems from an incident in 1995.

Malakoe was also impressed by the stack of reference letters written by various people on the accused's behalf.

Nonetheless, the judge was concerned that the man did not seem to recognize that he has an addiction and made a point to address that in his sentence on the assault charge.

"There are many parts of you that are good but your drinking and violence are not," he said.

Under the probation order the assailant has to abstain from alcohol for a year and can't contact the victim or be within 50 metres of her residence as well as her workplace. He must also complete 60 hours of community service and participate in counselling as directed by the probation officer. His one day in jail was served by him being in court that day.

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