A Surrey man who admitted throwing his former wife to the ground and choking his teenage stepson during an alcohol-fueled camping trip at Manning Park was handed a 12-month suspended sentence in Princeton circuit court on May 18.
The man, who is not being identified due to the age of the young victim, pleaded guilty to one count of assault, while a second count was stayed.
The court heard the incident occurred in June 2022 at about 10:15 p.m.
The man had been camping and drinking alcohol with his former wife, and other family members, when an argument broke out and he pushed the woman to the ground, according to agreed-upon facts presented by the Crown and the defence.
Her son attempted to intervene and protect his mom, when the man choked him, leaving visible marks on his neck.
The accused who had no criminal record, said: “I regret that day and the situation that happened and I will do everything, my best, to make sure it never happens again.”
He told the court he stopped drinking alcohol following the incident and that his family “means everything to me.”
According to documentation presented to the court, the defendant has received counselling and made efforts to improve his life.
Defence counsel sought a conditional discharge, while Crown asked for an 18-month suspended sentence served on probation.
In passing the sentence, Judge Greg Koturbash noted the seriousness of the admitted charge.
“Children are in a vulnerable position…The courts need to deal with the abuse of children, in general, in a severe way to ensure the public gets the message that it just can’t be tolerated.”
Koturbash continued to tell the man that what he did was a serious breach of trust.
“A child should feel safe and have the feeling that his mother is safe, but you kind of threw that out the window.”