A man identified by RCMP as a prolific and violent offender was sentenced Monday in Provincial Court in Salmon Arm to 12 months in jail and weapons prohibitions.
On the day before his trial was to begin, 40-year-old Mark Anthony Salai opted to plead guilty to three charges stemming from an incident on Oct. 23, 2017. They included uttering threats to cause bodily harm, possessing a 30-06 rifle that he knew was obtained by the commission of an offence and committing mischief by damaging property.
Instead of a trial Monday, he was sentenced. He had already been in custody since October, so he was given a standard credit of time-and-a-half, totalling about four-and-a-half months. He will now serve an additional six-and-a-half months.
As requested by Crown counsel Danika Heighes, Judge R.D. Morgan ordered that the name of the victim/complainant be protected by a publication ban.
In reviewing the evidence, the judge pointed to Salai’s “lengthy and related” criminal conviction history, which included offences from 2000 to 2011 such as uttering threats, property crime, assaults and drug-related offences. In 2017 there was a drug trafficking and a fraud conviction.
Salai was prohibited by a court order from having guns at the time of the incident. However, he was observed in possession of two guns and acting irrationally. The complainant took the guns and ammunition, which was at the centre of the violent incident that ensued. Salai had been drinking and began yelling, smashing things, and threatening to burn down a residence. He eventually took off in a vehicle with the guns but no bullets, the court heard. Salmon Arm RCMP located and arrested him with help from a police dog.
Salai has since vowed to turn his life around.
Judge Morgan said the sentence must emphasize respect for court orders, as well as the goal of rehabilitation. Along with jail time, conditions include a 10-year firearms prohibition, as well as an ongoing life-time prohibition from restricted weapons. He must pay $1,500 in damages and have no contact with the complainant. He will have two years’ probation, must not consume drugs or alcohol and, for the first six months, must not go within two kilometres of Salmon Arm city limits.