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The unusual reason why a judge delayed sentencing

A man sentenced to four months' jail for a 2014 assault was able to get a three day delay in imposition of his sentence in order to look after his pets following a sentencing hearing in Penticton Supreme Court today, Friday, Jan. 8.
January 09, 2016 - 1:05 PM

PENTICTON - A Naramata man will spend four months in jail because of an exchange of vitriolic text messages that turned into an armed altercation.

But jail comes later. Before he was sentenced for mischief and assault with a weapon, Daryn E. Semancik asked court for a delay in sentencing so he could make arrangements for several pets he owned. Justice Allan Betton hesitated but said he did not want to jeopardize the pets if it wasn’t necessary.

The judge said he had no reason to suspect Semancik wouldn’t present himself for his sentence so he agreed to postpone until Monday, Jan.11.

That’s when he will be taken into custody to serve four months in jail for the June 7, 2014 incident, described in Penticton Supreme Court today, Jan. 8.

Betton said Semancik and the victim knew each other from a failed friendship.

The two were drinking and sending each other “provocative comments” via email in what Semancik previously testified were “immature communications” that escalated to a challenge by Semancik to the victim to come to Semancik’s residence.

Betton said the victim arrived at Semancik’s home expecting confrontation, which Semancik could have avoided. Instead, Semancik attacked the victim and his vehicle with a baseball bat.

Betton called the injuries sustained by the victim to have been “minor, given the potential,” noting the victim suffered damage to his left lower arm, and wrist, which continues to give him some pain today. The victim also had to pay $300 to have his vehicle repaired.

Betton said Semancik’s assault was “at the lower end of the range in seriousness” (for assault with a weapon) but also noted Semancik’s “somewhat dated record of violence.”

Semancik’s past record involved six prior assaults, three previous mischief charges, and two previous convictions for making threats since 1993.

Semancik also served some jail time as a result of some of those offences, the last assault conviction having been made in North Bay, Ontario in 2006.

Crown Prosecutor Claire Ducluzeau asked Betton for a six-to nine-month jail sentence followed by a year’s probation, while defence lawyer Paul Varga argued for a 90-day intermittent sentence.

Justice Betton called four months “an appropriate period of incarceration,” in addition to 18 months probation with conditions that include mandatory counselling, a 10-year firearms prohibition, and restitution of the victim’s $300 deductible charge.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Steve Arstad at sarstad@infonews.ca or call 250-488-3065. To contact the editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2016
InfoTel News Ltd

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