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Western Newfoundland lawyer receives conditional discharge on charges

Court news
Court news

A west coast lawyer who pleaded guilty to an assault and another of breach of a recognizance was given a conditional discharge on both charges in Stephenville Provincial Court on Wednesday.

Judge William English of St. John’s, appearing via videoconference while the accused was in Stephenville Court, updated and endorsed as dismissed six other charges he was facing.

The assault charge stems from an incident in a car back in March of this year when the accused spat at the victim in or somewhere near Corner Brook.

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The breach of recognizance from an incident in late June involved the accused sending a Facebook audio message to two people he wasn’t supposed to have contact with, including the victim. It was noted the one-second message had no content.

In a lengthy decision by English, he said he was taking everything into consideration from the facts presented in the case to the victim impact statement in which the victim outlined how things have changed dramatically since the incident, which she said affected her personal and professional life.

He said in putting forward his guilty plea on the assault, the accused in his own words had recognized the spitting as a “vulgar act.”

English said the messages sent by the man to the two people must have felt threatening to the recipients.

He said he would take into consideration the previous good character of the accused and he feels assured the offender is likely not to bother the victim again.

English declined to make an order on the DNA of the accused, but had a list of court conditions he must abide by, including that he have no contact with the victim and remain away from her work, place of residence or where she may be attending school.

The lawyer, who cannot be identified because of a publication ban requested by the Crown as a measure to protect the identity of the complainant, is ordered banned from possessing firearms for 10 years and has a lifetime ban on possessing prohibited or restricted weapons.

He was issued two victim fine surcharges, one of $200 relating to the assault and another of $100 relating to the breach of recognizance.

There are also a number of probation order conditions in effect for 24 months: including keeping the peace and being of good behaviour; appearing before the court when called upon; notify the court of any change of name or address; report to a probation officer; and remain within the jurisdiction of the court unless permission is obtained from the court or a probation officer.

He was also ordered to attend any recommended anger management and control counseling sessions.

English warned that any breach of these conditions will result in future conviction.

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