Syd­ney man gets fed­eral time for sex­ual as­saults

Tyler Rud­der­ham was 19 when of­fences took place

Cape Breton Post - - FRONT PAGE - BY CAPE BRE­TON POST STAFF

A 22-year-old Syd­ney man has re­ceived a six-year prison sen­tence for a host of crim­i­nal charges in­clud­ing mul­ti­ple counts of sex­ual as­sault, as­sault with a weapon and forcible con­fine­ment.

With credit for time spent on re­mand since his ar­rest, Tyler Rud­der­ham will serve an ad­di­tional two years and four months in prison.

Judge Jean Whalen noted in pass­ing sen­tence that she had to con­sider the se­ri­ous­ness of Rud­der­ham’s crimes while also tak­ing into ac­count his age — he was 19 when the of­fences oc­curred — and his po­ten­tial for re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion.

“From (the vic­tim im­pact state­ment) I’ve gleaned that this has had a long-last­ing emo­tional trauma, that she ex­pe­ri­enced a hor­ri­fy­ing ex­pe­ri­ence at the hos­pi­tal, that there are per­ma­nent phys­i­cal in­juries, that she suf­fers from de­pres­sion and anx­i­ety and that she has huge wor­ries with re­spect to Mr. Rud­der­ham, but she also has huge plans to rise above her ex­pe­ri­ence,” Whalen said.

Sex­ual in­ter­course with­out con­sent is an in­her­ently vi­o­lent act, the judge said, and when a weapon is used in the com­mis­sion of the of­fence it is even more egre­gious, adding that Rud­der­ham had treated the vic­tim, “like she was a piece of meat.”

Rud­der­ham ini­tially faced 37 crim­i­nal charges and was found guilty at trial on 23 of­fences — eight counts of as­sault with a weapon (in­clud­ing a sling shot, a cup of cof­fee, a door and a knife), six counts of ut­ter­ing threats, three counts of forcible con­fine­ment, three counts of sex­ual as­sault, two counts of as­sault and a sin­gle count of pos­ses­sion of a weapon for a danger­ous pur­pose (a knife) against a sin­gle fe­male vic­tim.

The of­fences are al­leged to have oc­curred be­tween De­cem­ber 2013 and Septem­ber 2014 in Syd­ney.

The vic­tim noted she has suf­fered per­ma­nent nerve dam­age to her face as a re­sult of her in­juries, which is a con­stant re­minder of the abuse that she suf­fered.

Rud­der­ham ap­peared via video link from a cor­rec­tional cen­tre in New Glas­gow for the sen­tenc­ing. When given the chance to ad­dress the court, a let­ter writ­ten by Rud­der­ham was read into the record on his be­half in which he asked for “an­other chance to have my life back,” and said he has al­ways fol­lowed in­struc­tions dur­ing his 54 court ap­pear­ances on the charges. He noted he has also taken an anger man­age­ment course and has been re­warded by work­ing in the in­sti­tu­tion’s kitchen while on re­mand.

Crown at­tor­ney Mark Gouthro had re­quested a to­tal sen­tence of eight years while de­fence lawyer Bill Burchell had asked that his client re­ceive a to­tal sen­tence of four years.

Burchell noted that sev­eral rel­a­tives and friends of the fam­ily wrote let­ters in sup­port of his client. He added that Rud­der­ham strug­gled with a learn­ing dis­abil­ity but has fur­thered his ed­u­ca­tion while on re­mand and in­tends to con­tinue to do so, pos­si­bly by pur­su­ing a forestry course. He noted Rud­der­ham was greatly af­fected by the death of his fa­ther when he was 12 and three years later by the death of his older brother.

Rud­der­ham has main­tained that he is not guilty of the of­fences. He must also sub­mit a DNA sam­ple to the na­tional reg­istry and will be listed on the sex­ual of­fender reg­istry for life.

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