CORNER BROOK — Although an expert witness testified that John Tyrone Power’s assault on Roger Parsons had nothing to do with his death three weeks later, part of a creative sentencing imposed on Power will reflect the circumstances under which Parsons did die.
Power, 36, pleaded guilty to assault causing bodily harm in April in relation to an altercation with Parsons at the Pine Ridge Lodge in Pasadena on Canada Day last year.
Parsons, 35, was home in western Newfoundland on vacation at the time and died suddenly on July 23, 2011, after he had returned to Alberta.
When lawyers presented their submissions on sentencing in late May, Judge Kymil Howe heard that Parsons’ death was related to the fact he was diabetic and not as a result of the injuries he had suffered in the assault.
Power was in provincial court in Corner Brook Tuesday afternoon and was given a 90-day sentence to be served intermittently on weekends from 7 p.m. Fridays until 9 p.m. Sundays. Howe also gave Power two years of probation, to begin immediately.
The creative portion of the sentence involves Howe ordering Power to make two donations of $2,500 to an organization dedicated to diabetes research or awareness. The judge told Power he must make the first donation by the end of 2012 and the second donation before the end of 2013.
The donations must be made in the name of Roger Parsons and Power will not be able to claim the amounts as charitable donations on his income tax returns.
In sentencing Power, Howe said the donations would be not only a financial punishment. She said it was also an opportunity for Power to fully show the remorse he said he feels about what happened.
In a pre-sentence report prepared for the court, Power acknowledged his aggressive behaviour on the night of the assault was inappropriate.
Both had been drinking
Last July 1, both men had been drinking at a social gathering at the Pine Ridge Lodge camping area. There was a confrontation between them inside the bar and Parsons was ejected from the building.
The court heard that Power then went outside and punched Parsons in the face and head. The blows rendered Parsons unconscious for a short time and he sustained a concussion and a mildly displaced orbital bone fracture.
In a victim impact statement provided to the court by Parsons’ partner and by his sister, the court heard how Parsons spent his last vacation home to Newfoundland recovering from these injuries.
The judge stressed the court had to be careful not to be swayed by sympathy or pity for his death since it was not shown to be related to the offence for which Power was charged and convicted. Nor was the stress and anxiety Power experienced after learning of Parsons’ death, or his low risk to re-offend, enough to warrant a lighter sentence.
The Crown had asked Power be given between three and six months in jail, to be served as straight time. The defence asked for a conditional sentence to be served in the community under house arrest so Power could maintain his employment as an insurance agent.
The conditions of the probation order stipulate that Power must abstain from alcohol and drugs, unless prescribed by a physician and he must attend any counselling or treatment programs for alcohol use and anger management recommended by his probation officer.
He is also not permitted on the property of Pine Ridge Lodge and cannot have any contact with the family of Roger Parsons while on probation.