GRAND BANK, NL – A 61-year-old man from the Burin Peninsula has been sentenced to 60 days’ incarceration after pleading guilty to a charge of assault and three charges of breaching conditions of his bail.
Judge Harold Porter handed down his decision earlier this month in provincial court in Grand Bank.
According to the agreed statement of facts, Wallace Samuel Pike assaulted his wife in the presence of police by grabbing her by the shoulder and pushing her up against a wall.
Pike was arrested, taken to the police station and released on bail conditions in the form of an undertaking.
The same day he was arrested, Pike breached his non-contact bail condition by telephoning his wife. He did the same thing the next day and again the day after that. His wife did not answer the three calls, which were recorded as voicemail messages.
Judge Porter wrote in his decision that Pike has a history of substance abuse, having been convicted in the past of drinking and driving offences in 2010. He has also completed a substance abuse program.
“Since the commission of the present offences, the accused has seen a counsellor for substance abuse and has also gotten a sponsor for Alcoholics Anonymous, who he says has been alcohol-free for 38 years,” Judge Porter wrote in his decision.
Judge Porter wrote that under cross-examination, Pike agreed his marriage had been effectively over before he availed of a residential substance abuse program. He also admitted he was drinking again three days after completing the program, and that he has had three relapses since he started substance abuse counselling.
“It is important here to note the utility of the evidence of the accused and his substance abuse,” wrote Judge Porter. “Substance abuse does not excuse or mitigate the commission of any offence. It does, however, pose a serious hurdle to a requirement to comply with court orders.”
Position on sentencing
Counsel for the Crown advocated that Pike serve his sentence in an institution. Counsel for the accused, which had been seeking a conditional discharge, said that if a discharge was unavailable, the appropriate sentence was a conditional sentence served in the community.
Judge Porter stated he did not believe a conditional sentence would have the required effect.
“There is no evidence that the accused is capable of complying with another court order, as would be required if a conditional sentence were otherwise appropriate,” he wrote.
Pike was sentenced to a total of 60 days. Sentence components included 30 days for the assault and 10 days, consecutive, for each breach of undertaking.
The total sentence is 60 days in custody.
Ancillary orders were included in the sentencing, including a firearms’ prohibition order, an order for the collection of DNA, victim surcharges and a probation order.
Pike must also abstain from consuming drugs except in accordance with a medical prescription, alcohol or any other intoxicating substance. He must also abstain from communicating, directly or indirectly, with his wife, except at her invitation or through a third-party intermediary.