In November, a man with $600 in pocket refused to pay his cab fare. He then resisted arrest when cops showed up.
In his own words, the man called his actions “stupid.”
“I was being an asshole.”
The man, convicted of assaulting a peace officer, was sentenced Monday to 15 days in custody followed by a year on probation. He will have 20 hours of community service to complete within the first six months of his release. The man, who was intoxicated at the time, was also ordered to complete counselling on his probation.
Presiding judge Donovan Molloy drew parallels between the man’s childhood and Indigenous offenders who fall under the umbrella of Gladue factors, which compel Canadian judges to consider the systemic challenges faced by Indigenous people when sentencing them for crimes they have been convicted of.
The man fled El Salvador in a crate, along with his mother, brother and father – a guerilla fighter with the military. The family docked first in Mexico, then Yorkton, Saskatchewan.
Molloy explained that the court has an obligation to take personal circumstances and trauma into account in determining the offender’s moral blameworthiness.
“You’re not Indigenous but you are a person who has faced, frankly a horrendous history in terms of your childhood in El Salvador,” Molloy said.
Without his prior criminal record, Molloy told the man it would be unlikely for him to face jail time. He does however, have a history of violence, including convictions of assault, obstruction of justice and several other alcohol-related offences.
He man was noted to be a good worker in his trade as a welder and received a glowing letter from former employers Paul Bros.
Defence lawyer Paul Falvo told the court that the man apologized to the officers as soon as he was arrested.
“I feel gross for the things I’ve done,” the man told the court, admitting he will seek help for his dependence on alcohol. “I’m trying to make those positive changes.”