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RCMP officer disciplined for assault

A LOCAL RCMP officer charged with assaulting a woman in the cell block will not have a criminal record.

Const. Robert Hull was handed a conditional discharge with one year probation by Judge Agnes Krantz in provincial court Sept. 7.

“Just I’m very sorry it happened. I wish it hadn’t. Believe me, the stuff I’ve been through since has weighed very heavily on me and caused stress in my relationship. Being off work was difficult. I felt like I had no purpose. Since I’ve been back, I’ve made changes and am trying to make sure it never ever happens again,” said Hull when asked by Krantz if he had anything to say before sentencing.

On Oct. 17, 2010, an intoxicated woman at a local pub assaulted the bar manager and police were called, said prosecutor Ronald Toews in reviewing the circumstances.

She fell down the stairs, was put in a police vehicle and taken to the detachment where she was loud and argumentative, court heard.

Along with Const. Hull were two other officers, Const. Chad King and Const. Kendra Felkar, who also had custody of the woman, court heard.

Hull and the woman had words, which King regarded as unprofessional and that Hull was egging her on, court heard.

As she was escorted into the cell, she kicked Hull in the groin, said Toews.

“[She] was taken into the cell and while under the control of another officer, Hull came in and punched her in the head,” said Toews, adding the woman was bleeding.

“While provoked, nevertheless in no way was it an act of self defence.”

Toews played a police cell videotape that showed the punch and provided photos taken afterward showing the woman with a bloody nose and damaged lip.

When interviewed, King and Felkar said that Hull had said something about not wanting to appear to be a wimp, said Toews.

Defence lawyer Albert King said Hull had no prior criminal record.

“He’s done everything right in his life up until this moment,” he said, referring to the punch.

Hull had graduated from RCMP training in February 2009 and was on a work probationary period for six months before becoming a full member in late 2009, so at the time of the assault, he was a very inexperienced officer, said King.

“He is remorseful and went through an RCMP disciplinary hearing  and was disciplined,” he said, explaining that Hull was held back and not considered for any promotion for six months, which cost him $5,000.

Hull isn’t an overzealous, rude officer who pushes someone down the stairs or to the ground, said King.

He provided several letters of reference about Hull and said all of them indicated that this behaviour was out of character for Hull.

Hull will also have to write a letter of apology to the woman who was punched and complete 100 hours of community work service.

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