A young Corner Brook man is facing a very restricted life for the next three years if a provincial court judge opts to impose a suggested conditional sentence.
Robert Hicks, 20, was convicted in provincial court on Dec. 7 of 16 charges including
four counts of assault, three counts of assault with a weapon, two counts of being unlawfully in a dwelling house, four counts of uttering threats to cause death of bodily harm, one count of unlawful confinement and two breaches of a court order.
A publication ban is in place that prevents providing any information that could identify his victim. The assaults against the woman took place in different locations on Aug. 1, 15 and 16, 2016.
Facts presented to the court indicate that Hicks hit and choked her. He also threatened to kill her multiple times and at one point told her no one would find her body.
Hicks’s case had been set for a preliminary inquiry on Dec. 7. He had previously elected to be tried by judge and jury in the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Instead, he re-elected to provincial court and entered the guilty pleas.
During his sentencing hearing on Tuesday afternoon, Crown attorney Brenda Duffy and his lawyer, Bob Simmonds, asked Judge Kymil Howe to impose a two-year (less one day) sentence that would allow Hicks to serve his time conditionally under house arrest.
For the first three months Hicks would not be allowed outside his residence unless in the presence of one of his parents. The sentence would be followed by one-year probation.
Both Duffy and Simmonds suggested the sentence would serve the principals of sentencing.
Duffy said the conditions Hicks will be living under are going to be restrictive on him.
“And will be sending him a specific deterrent message, which would be that everything he did was wrong, that he is being punished for it and he will be punished for a very lengthy period of time.”
Simmonds agreed while making his submission.
“A two-year conditional sentence with the conditions that the Crown has asked is a severe and significant limiting of the young man’s liberty.”
During the hearing Hicks was characterized as a leader by two of his former hockey coaches, Donald Gallant and Angus Head.
Both testified they felt Hicks understood what a conditional sentence would mean, the restrictions that come with it and what would happen if he were to breach those conditions.
Simmonds said Hicks recognizes what he did and is remorseful.
“My client made a very bad mistake.”
On his own behalf Hicks said he was deeply sorry for the pain he caused his victim and her family. He said he understands his actions, has learned from them and they will never happen again.
Howe will render her decision in the matter on Feb. 1.