PENTICTON - A man accused of uttering threats against his former partner is a free man after spending six months in jail for his offences.
Dale Watts pled guilty Monday, Feb. 29, in a Penticton courtroom to three counts of uttering threats, and breach in three separate incidents which took place in Osoyoos and Oliver between November 2014 and Oct. 31, 2015.
Crown Prosecutor Catherine Crockett told court the two were living in Ponoka, Alta., prior to the woman fleeing the relationship to the South Okanagan. She said Watts continued to communicate with the complainant through social media, and on two occasions in November 2014, made threatening remarks to the woman, including a 3:30 a.m. phone call in which Watts is alleged to have threatened to "slit the woman’s throat and let her kids watch her bleed.”
In spite of the threats, Watts continued to communicate with the woman, eventually arranging a meeting with her through his aunt, on Oct. 31, 2015.
After a brief meeting the woman took him to his mother’s house in Oliver.
He phoned her shortly after being dropped off to say he was kicked out of the house.
The woman, who shared her accommodations with a roommate, agreed to let Watts stay with her, and the two stopped at a liquor store to get some wine. Back in the vehicle, the woman noticed Watts had also picked up a bottle of vodka, which caused her some concern, Crockett said.
What followed was a night of threats and controlling behaviour by Watts — threats that included bashing the woman’s head in, killing everyone in the house, and slitting her throat.
Crockett went to some length to describe the night’s events to court.
The next morning the woman called police, who came to the house and arrested Watts. Watts apparently had no idea why police were there.
Crockett sought a sentence 'at the top of the sentencing range' for Watts’ last offence before discovering an agreement had been previously reached for sentencing between another prosecutor and defence lawyer James Pennington.
Pennington said he found the case frustrating because of difficulties he had getting evidence disclosure from Oliver RCMP.
“To say I’m frustrated would be something of an understatement,” he said.
Pennington said the matter between his 34-year-old client and the complainant was simple.
“He drinks and she’s a meth head. There were angry words between the two of them, and she got to the police first,” he said.
Pennington said Watts had been kicked out of his mother’s house because he showed up there with his girlfriend.
“He was surprised to see the cops the morning of his arrest. They had been intimate that night,” Pennington said, adding there had been 'no love lost' in the relationship.
Judge Meg Shaw noted there had been 'a great deal of circumstances set out by Crown' in the case, and also noted Pennington’s different description of events of the night in question.
However, she said she was satisfied threats and difficult behaviour had occurred.
Both council agreed to a six-month sentence for the offences, followed by two years’ probation, conditions of abstinence from alcohol and drugs, and a weapons prohibition. He is also to stay away from the complainant.
Watts was given six months to pay $400 in victim surcharge fees.
With credit for time served, Watts completed his sentence on Feb.29.
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