PENTICTON - A Penticton judge was pleased with a man’s attempts to change his ways since he was charged with assault.
Judge Gregory Koturbash said in Penticton Provincial court today, April 29, Frederick Nathaniel Williams showed commitment to getting his life back on track after getting mixed up in a scuffle that led to an assault charge earlier this year.
Williams pled guilty following the incident, which took place Feb. 4, 2015.
Police were called to reports of a fight on Maple Street, where a group of men were seen beating a lone man. Upon arrival, police found the group of men had fled the scene in a dark blue van that was later traced to the South Okanagan Events Centre.
Police investigation revealed the victim was attacked by three men — Williams, a former roommate and another man. The victim was accused by his former roommate, who was hooked on crystal meth, of stealing the assailant’s drugs and money.
Williams' involvement in the assault was found to be that of a 'bit player' during the police investigation. The victim suffered abrasions on his back as a result of the incident.
Crown Prosecutor John Swanson asked the court to impose a suspended sentence and one year probation. He also requested a five year firearms prohibition and a DNA order for Williams.
Defence lawyer Helene Walford agreed to the suspended sentence and one year probation term, but argued against her client submitting a DNA sample and firearms prohibition.
She described Williams as a 23-year-old man with some addiction issues who 'ended up in this incident.'
She noted his guilty plea, pointing to Williams’ completion of a six-week residential treatment program since the incident. She also noted Williams is in a recovery house presently and is now employed.
Koturbash agreed with a suspended sentence and one year probation, but ruled Williams should provide a DNA sample and be given a five-year firearms ban, noting Williams had a previous conviction for assault in 2009.
Williams also expressed remorse for his actions and said he was sorry.
Koturbash said he was very impressed with what Williams had done and was continuing to do to rehabilitate himself. He told Williams spending time with characters like the others involved in the assault might have been the 'kick in the pants' he needed to get treatment.
“There’ll be slip-ups, don’t give up on yourself,” he advised.
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