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Corner Brook judge says home invasion case example of ongoing problem of violence against women

Kirby House committed a violent invasion of his former partner’s privacy, but the judge who sentenced him to house arrest believes it to have been an isolated incident.

House, 23, was given a six-month conditional sentence by Judge Wayne Gorman in provincial court in Corner Brook Monday afternoon.

He had earlier pleaded guilty to the offences of assault, unlawful entry into a home and two counts of damaging property.

While the judge accepted it is unlikely House would commit these sorts of offences again, he did acknowledge the seriousness of issues arising when people have difficulty accepting a relationship has ended.

“These offences form part of an ongoing problem of violence against women by their former male partners,” Gorman wrote in his written decision on this case. “This is not a new phenomenon. Nor are the fatal consequences which can arise from male jealously and the unacceptance by men of the end of relationships.”

On July 31, 2016, House went to his former girlfriend’s house just after 4 a.m. He kicked the door in so hard, the frame collapsed.

He then assaulted both the woman and her boyfriend. During the incident, he also kicked a baby gate towards the ceiling, breaking a light fixture inside the house.

He was removed form the home with the help of two neighbours who showed up to help the couple, but House damaged the man’s truck before leaving the scene altogether.

The woman was left with a bruised nose and a scrape on her leg. The court heard no details of injuries suffered by the boyfriend, who told police House had swung at him but had missed.

In a pre-sentence report prepared for court, House said the breakdown of his relationship with the victim and the death of a close friend of his had caused him to experience depression around the time of the incident.

House has never been diagnosed with clinical depression, nor treated for depression.

The report did indicate House was deemed a low risk to do this sort of thing again.

Gorman took that factor into account, along with House’s guilty plea and lack of a prior criminal record, when considering house arrest.

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