Kelowna court delivers swift justice after shelter assault | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kelowna court delivers swift justice after shelter assault

Jonathan Staniforth, born in 1980, was arrested for an assault on Jan. 17, 2023, and got pleaded guilty the next day.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Kamloops RCMP

A Kelowna outdoor shelter employee was assaulted by one of its occupants, but justice came quickly when his assailant pleaded guilty and was sentenced the next day.

Jonathan Staniforth, born in 1980, was arrested Jan. 17, after an assault near the rail trail around 8 a.m.

Kelowna RCMP said he punched and kicked the employee before others convinced him to stop.

He was charged the same day after a brief investigation and held for court on Jan. 18.

The court process was almost as short when he pleaded guilty and was immediately sentenced to six months in prison, according to Kelowna RCMP.

“We take every incident of assault seriously, and want to ensure everyone has a safe place to work and live,” Staff Sgt. Brendan Dolan said in a news release. “This is a case of a repeat violent offender inflicting harm and violence towards a community member and it will not be tolerated.”

Staniforth has faced dozens of other criminal charges in the Okanagan, including assault, drug possession and theft, since at least 2014, according to court records.

Once he's released, he'll serve a year-long probation order aimed at protecting the victim, according to Kelowna RCMP.

“It is rare for this type of sentence to be delivered so swiftly however it’s perhaps a promising sign that the provincial and national changes that are required to address repeat offending and violent attacks are relevant considerations for today in our justice system.  Everyone deserves to be safe and feel safe in our communities," Dolan said.

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