January 08, 2013 - 5:56 PM
A Kelowna man with a long history of violence against women in his life will spend another nine months in jail for assault and threats to kill.
Brandon Oril Topping, 31, has been in and out of prison for years, most significantly when he let his temper get the better of him in 2004 while in the care of his infant son.
Topping served 3.5 years in prison for criminal negligence causing bodily harm for shaking the boy and causing irreparable harm.
He was back in Kelowna Provincial Court again Tuesday pleading guilty to fresh assault charges on a former girlfriend and the mother of his new son—he cuffed her across the head. For Judge Robin Smith, however, the more serious allegations were Topping's threats to kill the girlfriend's mother and her sister.
He was nearing the end of a three-day crack cocaine binge when he contacted them and made several threats, some of them recorded, saying he "wanted to know the power of killing another person" before he committed suicide or went back to jail.
"He said he was going to take all of them out, that no one would stand in his way and there was no corner in the world they could hide to prevent him from getting to them and end his life and end their lives," Smith said.
Topping was diagnosed with serious mental illnesses including borderline personality disorder.
All this occurred while Topping was serving a one-year-conditional sentence for assaulting the same woman and was ordered to stay away from her.
Smith sentenced Topping to a total of nine months behind bars and two years probation.
But while Smith said he was disturbed by the circumstances before him, he also noted that Topping had one of the most troubling backgrounds he encountered in 17 years as a judge.
Topping grew up in a family steeped in drug and alcohol addiction. His mother attempted suicide when he was two. He was mentally, physically and sexually abused by his step father. He was in and out of foster homes since he was 10 and around that time started setting fires and harming animals. He had access to social supports throughout his life but by age 13, the circle was complete and he was using alcohol and drugs with regularity.
"The dysfunction in his upbringing can't be overstated. That being said, his criminal activity has to be looked at seriously because there is an element of violence… he is dangerous. He is one of few individuals in this province considered at high risk to reoffend," Smith said.
Topping, however, showed some interest in getting help, even asking Smith to a longer term of probation to allow him greater access to treatment.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013