Kyle Courtney could have been sent to jail for four years and 83 days on Wednesday.
That’s the amount of time Judge Wayne Gorman concluded, in his written decision on sentencing, that the 20-year-old Corner Brook man should serve for 16 offences before the court, including one court of sexual interference involving a 14-year-old girl.
However, Gorman decided to accept the suggested sentence of two years less a day put forward by the Crown for the sexual interference charge and ordered that the sentences for the other charges be served concurrent to that.
The charges against Courtney occurred between June 27, 2012 and Jan. 21, 2014 and also include three counts under the Criminal Code of breach of undertaking, six counts of breach of probation, uttering a threat, theft and obstructing a peace officer. He was also charged with two counts of failure to comply with a non-custodial sentence contrary to section 137 of the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
Gorman outlined the sentences for each of the other charges in his written decision. But during a morning court appearance said the overall sentence will be reduced by 64 days to account for the time Courtney has spent in custody since April.
In court, Gorman told Courtney his written decision was some 50 pages long and he would summarize it for the purposes of the sentencing hearing.
Courtney was 19 when he had sexual intercourse twice with the 14-year-old girl. A publication ban prevents any information being reported that could identify the girl. In court, and in his written decision, Gorman refers to her as X.
‘ ... Life changed in the worst way’
Her victim impact statement is included in the written decision and in it she said “since the incident, my life changed in the worst way,” and that she blames herself for what happened.
“What happened can only be forgiven, but not forgotten. Nothing will ever really be the same and that’s the part I hate.”
Gorman said the girl told Courtney her age and noted in court that while Courtney was just outside of the permissable age gap set out in section 150.01 of the Criminal Code that he did not view that as a mitigating factor in sentencing.
Had the girl been a week older, or Courtney a week younger, the sexual act would not have been considered criminal.
But Gorman said Courtney is an adult who chose to have sex with a child, and while the girl willingly participated that willingness is also not a mitigating factor and cannot be used to lower a sentence. The incidents were reported to police by her parents.
Gorman said Courtney has a long history of criminal behaviour and there is no evidence that rehabilitation is a real possibility.
During the custodial portion of his sentence Courtney is prohibited from communicating directly or indirectly with X.
In addition to the jail term, Gorman sentenced Courtney to three years probation. His probation will begin at the completion of his jail term and conditions include that he must report to a probation officer in person as required; comply with all directions received from his probation officer; attend all counselling or treatment sessions arranged by his probation officer; refrain from any association, communication or contact of any kind with X, including by electronic or social media means, even if the contact is initiated by her; and refrain from the possession or consumption of alcohol.
The court also imposed a DNA order on Courtney and he must register with the National Sex Offender Registry for 20 years. He is also prohibited from owning or possessing any weapons and ammunition for 10 years.
Gorman also imposed a $200 victim fine surcharge for two offences which occurred after October 2013.