PENTICTON - A Penticton judge sided with the Crown in handing a jail sentence to a Summerland man who assaulted his father and threatened to burn down the family residence.
Erik Duncan Harrison was plagued by drug use and anger management issues when he committed the two counts of uttering threats and one count of assault in December 2016, Crown Prosecutor Kurt Froehlich told a Penticton courtroom today, March 13.
On Dec. 28, 2016, Harrison’s father reported to Summerland police he had been assaulted and threatened by his 34-year-old son.
Police were told the previous week, on Dec. 21, Erik had threatened to kill his father if he left the house, and on Dec. 28 Erik grabbed his father by the neck and upper jaw.
Erik also kicked over the coffee table and threw it at his father.
Police arrested and later released Erik on a promise to appear, with conditions not to go near his parents or the family home.
On January 15, 2017, police were called after Erik returned to the family residence.
After being told to leave by his parents, he became irate, swearing and threatening to burn the house down. He ripped the phone cord out of the wall before departing down the street, where police picked him up minutes later.
Froehlich noted Harrison’s two prior convictions for crimes of violence, seeking a total of 150 days jail time from Judge Meg Shaw. He said Harrison’s parents were in “real fear” of their son and his unresolved anger and drug issues.
Defence lawyer James Pennington said the incidents were typical of ongoing issues within the family.
He said his client readily admits to his past drug use and mental health issues.
Pennington said his client had two job offers and would be better served out working than remaining in jail, asking the judge for a sentence of time served.
Harrington told the judge he had a job offer in Fort McMurray after the employer came down to the Okanagan Correctional Centre to interview him. He said he’d like to get back to work and possibly get into a program to help him handle his drug and anger issues.
“I do love my parents a lot, a lot — more than you can imagine… I feel really bad for my mom, who’s in the middle of all this,” Harrison said.
“It’s always concerning when circumstances come before this court that involves threats and assaults. It is even more concerning when it occurs in a family context,” Judge Shaw said.
She said Harrison put his family at risk by going back to the residence and having contact with his family when ordered not to.
Judge Shaw sided with Crown’s argument, handing down a jail term of 150 days for all three charges, and one year on probation.
Harrison was also ordered to stay away from his parents unless he had the consent of his probation officer.
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