A man on Monday pleaded guilty to assault, unlawful confinement and a series of failures to comply with release orders for an incident involving domestic violence.
Multiple times the man breached orders to not return to the house he shared with his girlfriend or contact his girlfriend. He breached one order on the same day that he was arrested.
The man, who is not named to protect the identity of his girlfriend, was first arrested on Aug. 13 after St. Albert RCMP responded to a report that he was pushing and beating his girlfriend.
RCMP located the girlfriend at the couple’s house. She told police that the man had been refusing to take medication for his mental illnesses and was trying to get her to leave the house because he “did not recognize her” and she “was not his girlfriend.”
He had threatened to “punch her head in.”
The man had locked himself in the basement, and RCMP had to pick the lock with a clothes hanger to arrest him.
RCMP released the man on the same day of his arrest on the condition that he not contact his girlfriend or return to the couple’s house.
He came back later that evening, and his girlfriend reported him to police. RCMP found him sitting on a chair in the basement of the house.
He told RCMP that “it was his house and no one could tell him to leave.”
He was arrested again and released on Aug. 21.
On Sept. 9, the man once again returned to the house and was arrested by RCMP for breaching his conditions.
He was released the same day and returned to the house for the third time three days later on Sept. 12.
When they returned, RCMP found him smoking a cigarette on a couch in the house’s carport, visibly agitated.
Inside the house, they found the girlfriend’s friend with a swollen forehead.
The pair got into a fight when the man entered the house, cornered his girlfriend and suggested she would not be allowed to leave.
Prosecutors asked for 75 days in jail — which the man had already served because he had been in custody since Sept. 12 — and for 12 months of probation.
“We would assess his conduct as being escalating in nature,” the Crown said.
The girlfriend said that the man was on medication for schizophrenia, but an assessment carried out while he was in custody determined that he was of sound mind.
The man’s lawyer asked for a conditional discharge. The lawyer noted his lack of criminal history and the fact that both the man and his girlfriend were drug users.
The lawyer said that the man was returning to the house repeatedly because his mother lived there.
She argued that the man’s girlfriends’ friend provoked him in the fight by getting into his face, and that he had no other option but to push her away. The friend had also been staying at the house for a long period and refused to leave.
“Anyone can be upset at an unwelcome visitor that formed a habit of sleeping on the couch,” she said.
Justice Bruce R. Garriock turned down the conditional discharge based on the man’s continual defiance of court orders, but agreed that the man had satisfied his jail sentence and should receive 12 months of probation.