Judge Catherine Allen-Westby said jail sentences have yet to deter Spencer Bell from criminal behaviour.
Still, the Corner Brook judge doesn’t see the 23-year-old Massey Drive man as a lost cause, yet.
After sentencing him to seven months in jail for assault causing bodily harm and escaping lawful custody in provincial court on Wednesday morning, Allen-Westby said Bell would be well advised to co-operate with counselling with the view of getting his life back on track and upgrading his education.
Bell was sentenced to a total of 210 days in jail, with credit at time-and-a-half for the 48 days he’s already spent in custody. That will reduce his total sentence by 72 days, leaving 138 days to be served.
Bell appeared by video for the hearing from the West Coast Correctional Centre in Stephenville, where he’s been held since his arrest on Sept. 2.
The assault occurred on the afternoon of June 11 in the area of Elizabeth Street and Tudor Street.
According to facts read into the record by Crown attorney Ashley Targett, Bell stopped his Mercedes-Benz SUV on the road, got out and struck another man before getting back in the vehicle and driving away.
The victim suffered cuts and swelling to his face and identified Bell as his attacker.
Bell contacted the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary around 5:45 p.m. on the same day to say he was in Deer Lake and would report to the headquarters when he got back in Corner Brook.
By 8:30 p.m. Bell had not shown up and police contacted him by phone and he said he would be there soon. An hour later he still had not shown up and police attempted to reach him again, without success.
It wasn’t until 9:30 p.m. on June 12 that Bell was located in his home and arrested.
At the time Bell was on two recognizances from Alberta that required him to keep the peace and be of good behaviour, and he was also charged with breaching those orders.
He was released on conditions that included he have a surety and that he sign in at the RNC.
When Bell went to sign in on Sept. 2 it was discovered that his surety had been pulled and he was asked to go into an office and read his rights and caution. When the officer left to give Bell privacy to make a phone call, Bell ran out of the University Drive building and down towards O’Connell Drive.
An officer chased him on foot and another followed in a vehicle. Bell ran across O’Connell Drive and down towards the trails and into the stream. At one point he was seen climbing over an embankment, but when police yelled at him he went back into the water.
He was apprehended in the area of Marcell Avenue after a brief struggle with police and charged with escaping lawful custody and two other breaches of the Alberta court orders.
In addition to the jail sentence, Bell was ordered to serve 12-months probation and will be subject to a two-year firearms prohibition.
He also has to pay a total of $600 in victim fine surcharges.