R. v. Riopelle, 2023 ONCJ 151
In the Ontario Court of Justice case of R. v. Riopelle, Mr. Riopelle was charged with assault causing bodily harm after assaulting his 67-year old uncle, Mr. Bandy, without provocation, knocking out two of his teeth. The accused and the complainant are family that have had prior disagreements about inheritance concerning the Glenalee Mobile Home and Campground. Mr. Bandy was disinherited and attempted a legal action but failed. Mr. Bandy worked on the campground for most of his adult life and continued to do so even after the legal action. One day, while wearing ear protection and mowing the grass for a renter, Mr. Bandy was approached by Mr. Riopelle, who accused him of parking his car on his mother’s grass. Mr. Riopelle assaulted Mr. Bandy. As a result, Mr. Bandy had to have stitches, a partial plate fitted, as well as dental teeth replacements.
In their sentencing, the Court considered Mr. Riopelle’s pre-sentence report. The report indicated that Mr. Riopelle’s assault was out of character, and that he was generally a social, employed member of the community who was in a long-term relationship, abstained from alcohol, and had no mental health problems. The victim impact statement made by Mr. Bandy highlighted the psychological effects the assault had for him, filling him with anxiety and apprehension. After considering sentencing principles such as denunciation, deterrence, rehabilitation and protection of the community (as outlined in section 718 of the Criminal Code), the Court found Mr. Riopelle guilty of assault causing bodily harm. The defendant was sentenced to an eight month conditional sentence, three years’ probation, restitution, a weapons prohibition, and a DNA order.
R. v. Rudkin, 2022 ONSC 375
In the Ontario Superior Court case of R. v. Rudkin, a mother was charged with aggravated assault. Rudkin’s daughter had suffered a laceration on her forehead. To prove her guilty, the Crown must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Ms. Rudkin intentionally injured her daughter. The presence of intention is needed to convict an assault charge.
An expert witness in pediatric maltreatment and the identification and interpretation of childhood injury was called to the stand. Dr. Schwartz stated that the laceration on the forehead could have been caused by blunt force impact, matching Rudkin’s account of her child falling from a highchair. However, to accept Rudkin’s testimony, the judge must find it credible and reliable. The judge did not find Rudkin’s testimony credible nor reliable, as it had inconsistencies. The accident explanation that Rudkin provided, however, was reasonable enough under the circumstances. In addition, the Crown could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused was guilty. Therefore, Rudkin was acquitted.
R. v. Cheema, 2022 ONCJ 632
In the Ontario Court of Justice case of R. v. Cheema, Cheema pled guilty to one count of aggravated assault and two counts of driving dangerously causing bodily harm. Three teenage boys were struck by the accused’s vehicle. The three teenage boys were associated with accosting, assaulting, and robbing the accused and his 14-year-old cousin at the mall. The offender ran down the three boys while driving to leave the mall.
Several aggravating and mitigating factors were considered during the sentencing. Regret on the part of the offender, the offender’s guilty plea, the offender’s education and employment, as well as this being the offender’s first offence all contributed to the mitigating factors of the case. The judge emphasized the importance of rehabilitation for the offender. However, the complainants’ heavy injuries and the violent nature of the crime all contributed to a harsher sentence.
Aggravated assault is a primary designated offence pursuant to section 487.04 of the Criminal Code. Therefore, a DNA order was made. The offender was sentenced to a weapons prohibition for ten years along with a driving prohibition for five years. Due to the mitigating factors of the case and the aim for rehabilitation as the goal, the defendant was sentenced to a conditional sentence of 90 days, served on the weekends, for aggravated assault; as well as 22 months’ imprisonment served conditionally in the community for driving dangerously causing bodily harm.