Two-year youth sen­tence, firearm ban for Water­ville ri­oter

Man to stay at Water­ville youth jail un­less moved to adult fa­cil­ity on sep­a­rate mat­ter

Annapolis Valley Register - - FRONT PAGE - KINGSCOUNTYNEWS.CA

A man who helped carry out an inmate riot at the Water­ville youth jail has re­ceived a two-year youth sen­tence to be served at the jail de­spite the Crown’s ap­pli­ca­tion for an adult sen­tence.

The young man, who can­not be iden­ti­fied since he was a youth at the time of the Septem­ber 2016 riot, sat with hands clasped and eyes for­ward as Judge Alan Tufts de­scribed why he felt a youth, rather than adult, sen­tence was the proper ap­proach in this case.

The man pleaded guilty last June to three counts of as­sault­ing a peace of­fi­cer caus­ing bod­ily harm and one count of as­sault­ing a peace of­fi­cer with a weapon.

Not­ing the man’s lengthy record, which in­cludes con­vic­tions for mur­der, as­saults, weapons and threats, Tufts said such fac­tors could lead “a court to im­pose a longer sen­tence than it would oth­er­wise.” He also noted the de­fense’s point that the man had spent a year in rel­a­tive iso­la­tion while be­ing held for a time in an adult jail in Pic­tou County, and that while it re­mained clear the man played a main role in the riot, there was no ev­i­dence prov­ing who in­sti­gated it.

Tufts said even with not­ing the man’s lengthy list of con­vic­tions, he was in­clined to fol­low prece­dent set by a pre­vi­ous sen­tenc­ing in the case, which saw an­other man – who was 18 at the time of the in­ci­dent – re­ceive a two-year, three­month youth sen­tence.

He handed the man a two-year con­cur­rent cus­tody and su­per­vi­sion sen­tence for each charge and a firearms ban to last two years be­gin­ning on his date of release. This will be added to time the man is cur­rently serv­ing for other con­vic­tions.

“I’ve thought hard about what I would say to you,” Tufts said, call­ing at­ten­tion to the man’s “fa­tal­is­tic” views.

“You don’t have to con­tinue liv­ing the life you’ve come to know. I hope you get to a place where you make pos­i­tive de­ci­sions that bet­ter your­self, your fam­ily and your com­mu­nity.”

The man stood up as he re­ceived his sen­tence and smiled, wav­ing at sev­eral peo­ple present in the court­room be­fore he was es­corted out.

The Crown had ap­plied for the man to be sen­tenced as an adult for his charges stem­ming from the riot.

The man was 17 at the time the riot hap­pened at the Water­ville youth jail, in which sev­eral guards were se­ri­ously in­jured. He was moved to the adult jail in Pic­tou af­ter be­ing charged for his role in the riot but re­turned to the youth jail af­ter youth court Judge Anne Der­rick said keep­ing him in a tran­si­tional sec­tion of adult jail away from other pris­on­ers was a form of “so­cial iso­la­tion.”

An­other youth was sen­tenced to 18 months in the youth jail for his part in the riot, while a fourth – who did not throw a punch – was given house ar­rest for ob­struc­tion for not re­turn­ing to his cell.

Crown at­tor­ney Jim Fyfe said af­ter court that while the man’s new youth sen­tence will put him at the youth jail, he could very well end up in an adult fa­cil­ity by De­cem­ber any­way.

Fyfe said youth are usu­ally trans­ferred to an adult fa­cil­ity from Water­ville once they turn 20 years of age, un­less the pro­vin­cial di­rec­tor of corrections agrees that they can stay at the youth jail.

The di­rec­tor had pre­vi­ously or­dered that the man should not be in Water­ville be­cause of safety con­cerns and wanted him left at the Pic­tou County jail but a youth court judge in Halifax dis­agreed.

The man is also due in court in Pic­tou next month for sen­tenc­ing on a charge of as­sault­ing a peace of­fi­cer. He was charged af­ter punch­ing a guard at the Pic­tou County jail when he was held there. The guard suf­fered a con­cus­sion in the at­tack.

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