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Man put in jail for assault

TIME SERVED in custody while awaiting trial resulted in a one month jail sentence plus probation for a man convicted of two charges of assault and one charge of impaired driving.

James McColl, 42, was convicted by Judge Ed de Walle in Terrace Provincial Court.

With 114 days time served, double the time he was in custody awaiting trial, McColl will serve one month in jail and one year of probation and is prohibited from driving for one year.

During his probation, he must attend and successfully complete any counselling as directed by his probation officer, not have contact directly or indirectly with the victim if he’s consumed alcohol in the previous 24 hours and must leave the victim’s place if asked and not return until invited.

On two separate occasions this year, Jan. 19 and Sept. 10, McColl’s wife accused him of assaulting her at their home.

The first time she was in the kitchen when he came in and knocked her down. Before she could get up, he grabbed her hair and slammed her left cheek into the floor several times.

In the second instance, she told the police officer who came to the house that her husband had put his elbow against her throat, pressed down and was “choking me out” while she lay in bed that morning.

While she was speaking with the officer, McColl drove by and she pointed him out to police. McColl was arrested and taken to the detachment where breathalyzer tests showed he was over the 80mg limit.

On May 22 of this year, police went to the McColl house and when McColl opened the door, the officer noted he was intoxicated. He had agreed to an earlier undertaking to abstain from contact with his wife and to abstain from alcohol. He was arrested again.

Crown counsel Bill Funnell asked for a sentence of five months in jail followed by one year probation and 14 days on the impaired driving charge with a driving prohibition for one year.

Defence counsel Cal Struyk asked for probation or a conditional sentence order to be served in the community where McColl could live with his parents.

McColl has taken steps toward counselling and has begun to deal with some of the big issues, Struyk told court.

De Walle noted McColl’s past convictions for drinking and driving in 1991, 1994 and 2000 and assault in 1997 where he served three months in jail followed by one year probation and in 2002 where he served a three month conditional sentence order.

“The concern of the court is that the sentence or sentences imposed today will deter you in the future.

“Hopefully [you’ll take] tentative steps to address the alcohol abuse issue. Clearly this has to be done if you’re not going to find yourself back before court again,” de Walle told McColl, adding he wasn’t satisfied that a conditional sentence would be a sufficient deterrent.

One charge each of sexual assault, assault, uttering threats to cause death or bodily harm, operating a vehicle with more than 80mg alcohol and two charges of breach of probation were stayed.

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