Domestic assaults equal time served and/or probation
November 18, 2020
Judge G.W. Paul
Byron J. Beauregard (23) was in custody in Edmonton Remand Centre. His lawyer entered guilty pleas to assault, obstructing a peace officer, and seven charges of failure to appear.
On February 4, 2017, a woman contacted the Wabasca RCMP, said the Crown prosecutor. On January 28, she’d been in a relationship with Beauregard for one month. She decided to break up. While she was packing a bag, they argued. Beauregard punched her in the stomach. She said, ‘don’t touch me.’ Beauregard laughed at her and kicked at her. Police took photos of bruises on the woman’s shoulder and ribs.
The bulk of the charges were failures to appear. In August 2017, Beauregard failed to attend his trial. All other failures to appear were for docket in 2019.
“Delaying things can be expensive,” said the Crown, referring to the recommended $150 fine per missed docket and 30 days for failing to attend trial.
On October 2, 2020 around 2 a.m., a Slave Lake RCMP officer was on patrol, said the Crown. The officer pulled over Beauregard. He claimed not to have his driver’s licence on him and said his name was Bryson.
The officer looked up the name and saw that Bryson didn’t have a driver’s licence, said the Crown. The officer then asked Beauregard for his middle name. He gave the wrong middle name. The officer caught him in the lie, and Beauregard admitted his real name.
The Crown classified Beauregard’s criminal record as “somewhat lengthy.”
Beauregard waived his right to a formal Gladue report, said defence. He is a member of Bigstone Cree Nation. Beauregard has struggled with alcohol and drug addiction since he was young. Since he was arrested on Oct. 2, he’s been in custody. He had 74 days of pretrial custody credit.
It’s not an excuse, said the defence, but when he was not attending court, he was living in Peerless Lake and didn’t have transportation.
Excluding alcohol and drugs, transportation is the biggest challenge facing Indigenous people in Canada, said Judge Paul. Although that does not excuse not contacting Native Counselling Services or someone else to be an agent in court.
Beauregard was sentenced to 74 days plus six months probation, and fined $900 ($150 per offence) plus victim fines surcharge. The jail time equaled time served.
This was divided into 30 days and probation for assault, 30 days for not attending trial, and 14 days for obstructing a peace officer. The probation consisted of the statutory conditions, plus to report, no contact with the victim and not to be at any residence where she lives.
Roderick Sean Noskiye appeared via closed circuit video from Peace River Correctional Centre. He pled guilty to operation of a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol level over 0.08 and a traffic ticket for driving without insurance. Four criminal charges and two tickets were withdrawn.
On October 4, 2020 around 1:45 a.m., a Slave Lake RCMP officer was on patrol, said the Crown. The officer spotted a vehicle leaving a residence. The license plate came up as not registered to a specific vehicle. The officer pulled the vehicle over. Noskiye was driving.
Noskiye exhibited signs of intoxication, said the Crown. There were empty alcohol containers and a bottle of rum on the front seat. He was on bail conditions to abstain and under a curfew. His blood alcohol was 0.1 mg.
While Noskiye has a criminal record, he has no related driving convictions.
“He (Noskiye) had just completed a residential treatment program,” said the defence. He’s been in custody since Oct. 4 and has enough credit to cover time in lieu of fines.
For over 0.08, Noskiye was fined $1,000 plus victim fine surcharge and prohibited from driving for 12 months. He is eligible to apply for Interlock. For driving without insurance, he was fined $2,875. Both are specified penalties for a first offence.
The fines were converted into jail sentences $1,000 (14 days) and $2,875 (45 days). This equalled time served.
Travis Daniel Awenose (35) was sentenced for assault.
The assault was against a domestic partner, said the Crown. He pled guilty on October 9, 2019.
Various reports were submitted, but not read aloud in court. These were Gladue and presentence reports, an agreed statement of facts, and a victim impact statement.
Awenose’s criminal record consisted of an assault conviction in 2018, against a different victim and failure to comply with conditions.
The assault had a lasting affect on the victim’s sense of comfort, said the Crown, referring to the victim impact statement.
The Crown first recommended 30 days in custody and eight months probation, with no contact and assessment or counselling conditions. However, after considering the Gladue and presentence reports, she changed her recommendation to probation.
Awenose admits to the violence, but not any property damage, said the defence.
Awenose was abused as a child, said the defence. He is no longer in a relationship with the victim. He is a member of Driftpile Cree Nation.
While a jail sentence is merited, the defence added, taking into account the abuse he suffered as a child and the COVID-19 situation, probation with very strict conditions would be warranted.
The starting place for domestic assaults is jail time, said Judge Paul.
“The Gladue factors are real in your case,” Judge Paul said to Awenose. Awenose has been on release conditions for 17 months without reoffending. Other mitigating factors were the guilty plea and a short record.
Awenose received a suspended sentence of nine months probation. This has the statutory conditions, plus reporting, abstaining from alcohol, drugs, and cannabis, taking assessment or treatment as directed, to provide proof, and have no contact with the victim.
A suspended sentence results in a criminal record.