Kamloops Mountie given absolute discharge in domestic assault case | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kamloops Mountie given absolute discharge in domestic assault case

July 05, 2017 - 10:53 AM

KAMLOOPS - A police officer in Kamloops will have no criminal conviction on his record after being given an absolute discharge for assaulting his wife.

Kristoffer Reinburg appeared in Kamloops Provincial court today, July 4, where Vernon judge Richard Hewson went over the details of the Dec. 19, 2016 assault, which Reinburg pleaded guilty to earlier this year.

Hewson gave Reinburg credit for pleading guilty "despite obvious weaknesses in the ability of the Crown to present a case against him."

Reinburg, 38, and his wife Kendra Martin are both police officers in Kamloops and were married in 2012. In the early morning hours of Dec. 19, Reinburg came home from a Christmas party being held by his colleagues at the detachment.

Reinburg and Martin began arguing about his texting. The argument became more heated to a point where Martin "apparently" struck herself in the face, Hewson told the court.

The argument ended up waking one of their two young children and Reinburg went to check on the child. As he walked past Martin, he held his arm out so that the palm of his hand made contact with her face.

Martin didn't suffer any injuries in the assault.

"The incident was at the very lowest end of the spectrum of violence I am accustomed to seeing in assault cases," Hewson said. "The assault was the spontaneous result of a sudden loss of self-control."

Hewson also said in his decision that Crown originally chose not to file Martin's victim impact statement. When it was eventually filed and Crown prosecutor Juan O'Quinn was questioned on it, he "distanced himself from it," Hewson said.

"He said twice that the victim impact statement did not reflect what he had discovered while prosecuting the file," Hewson said. "Counsel for Mr. Reinburg disputed all of the facts... except the fact that the complainant had no fear of future physical violence from Mr. Reinburg."

Hewson said he wasn't satisfied that Martin's statement had sufficient reliability to be considered relevant to the court proceedings.

O'Quinn and defence lawyer Brad Smith came up with a joint-submission for a conditional discharge, followed by a probation period.

But Hewson undercut the joint-submission, saying that since the probation period would only have one condition of keeping the peace and being of good behaviour, it would not be contrary to the public interest to grant an absolute discharge.

Reinburg will not have a criminal conviction on his record.

"It is in the public interest to ensure that people like Mr. Reinburg can continue to serve the public, without the burden of a conviction, or an order that would be deemed to be a conviction under the provincial legislation," Hewson said. 

According to court records, Reinburg and Martin are in Supreme Court family law proceedings.

Before the sentence could be dealt with, there was an issue surrounding a publication ban that was granted on May 11 by Hewson during the first sentencing hearing.

O'Quinn had asked for a publication ban to protect Martin's name from being made public. That would also mean not identifying Reinburg, since naming her husband would compromise her identity.

But Hewson asked for further submissions on the publication ban issue today because after the hearing was adjourned in May, he realized he "might have acted too hastily" in granting the ban.

"What makes this case different than any other criminal case?" Hewson asked.

There usually are no publication bans protecting the complainant's name in domestic assault proceedings. O'Quinn argued that identifying Reinburg publicly would in turn identify Martin.

He said Martin is a prominent member of the Kamloops community and she was concerned about the effect it would have on her children to have both of their parents identified in a criminal case.

O'Quinn said Martin wasn't trying to protect Reinburg's identity.

But Hewson cancelled the publication ban, saying he wasn't satisfied that a publication ban in this case would be in the interest of the proper administration of justice.

– This story was updated at 1:05 p.m. Wednesday, July 5, 2017 to include more information from court proceedings.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ashley Legassic or call 250-319-7494 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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