On July 5, 2021, Joe Saulnier’s client received a two-year conditional sentence, with house arrest, for charges of assault and sexual assault. Crown had asked for a two-year jail sentence.
At the time of the offence, the client had been experiencing a mental breakdown. Not long before the offence, he had tried to check himself into the psychiatric ward at the hospital, recognizing that he had been having trouble controlling his violent thoughts. Unfortunately doctors did not admit him. They gave him an anti-anxiety pill and sent him home. The violent sexual assault occurred not long after.
At sentencing, defence presented extensive materials, including medical records, as well as a Gladue report that detailed the extent of the intergenerational trauma experienced by this First Nations client and his family. The judge relied on that report in particular in finding that jail was not appropriate in the exceptional circumstances of this case.