by Andru McCracken

When asked whether he would get a public lawyer for his hearing that morning, a Valemount dad shook his head and said simply, “If I do time, I do time.” Then he put his hands together as if in cuffs. (The Goat has not included names as the victim of the crime is a minor).

His plan was to plead guilty to a charge of hitting his son. The man had hit his son with an open hand.

When a lawyer walked into the waiting room to ask if any one needed help, at first the accused refused, then at the urging of a family member, and the offer on the clarification on the part of the defence lawyer that there were ‘no strings attached.’ The man thought better of it and consulted the lawyer.

He was charged with simple assault and entered a plea of guilty.

The lawyer who took his case was Jeremy Jensen, no less, a high calibre lawyer in town on other business.

The accused had a criminal record, but nothing like assault, it was other offences including property crime.

It was noted that the accused was thought to be under the influence of alcohol at the time.

The judge asked Jensen what he proposed for a sentence and Jensen replied, “Ultimately it is your honour’s decision.”

The judge noted that the son said that he didn’t want his father to do jail time.

The judge placed the father on probation with a suspended sentence for 12 months. He will have to report to probation officers for 12 months. He is not allowed contact with his son when he is under the influence of alcohol.

Working in his favour was the fact he is employed full-time and that the boy is in good care with his guardian.

While the sentence was being passed, the father mentioned to the judge that his son’s middle name was incorrect in the court’s records and corrected his son’s name for the court proceedings.