RCMP of­fi­cer gets con­di­tional sen­tence for as­sault­ing girl­friend in Bay Roberts

The Compass - - Sports - BY ROSIE MUL­LA­LEY

An RCMP of­fi­cer con­victed of as­sault­ing his girl­friend eight years ago has been given a 14day con­di­tional sen­tence with one year’s pro­ba­tion.

Cameron D. Lock­hart was sen­tenced last Fri­day at New­found­land Supreme Court in St. John’s.

Lock­hart had been fac­ing sev­eral charges in­volv­ing two for­mer girl­friends be­tween 2009 and 2011 when Lock­hart was sta­tioned at the Trin­ity Con­cep­tion RCMP de­tach­ment. But fol­low­ing a trial last month, a jury found him guilty of one count of as­sault.

He was found not guilty of three counts of as­sault, two counts of mis­chief by dam­ag­ing prop­erty and sin­gle counts of as­sault caus­ing bod­ily harm and ut­ter­ing threats.

The charge he was found guilty of re­lated to an in­ci­dent that hap­pened in 2009 at the house he shared with his girl­friend at the time. While Lock­hart was on duty and went home on a break, he and his girl­friend ar­gued over her de­ci­sion to at­tend a stagette party. Lock­hart pushed her over the couch, smacked her in the face, caus­ing her ear­ring to cut her.

Dur­ing the sen­tenc­ing hear­ing last month, Crown pros­e­cu­tor Ja­son House had sug­gested Lock­hart get a 14-day jail term.

De­fence lawyer Nick Avis asked for a con­di­tional sen­tence.

Jus­tice Deb­o­rah Paquette agreed with Avis.

“Do­mes­tic vi­o­lence is a scorch on our so­ci­ety and must be se­ri­ously dealt with,” she said.

She said jus­tice can be served with a con­di­tional sen­tence.

He pointed out that Lock­hart has no pre­vi­ous crim­i­nal record and has been abid­ing by court or­ders since be­ing charged in 2014.

She said the woman didn’t suf­fer any in­juries in the as­sault, there was no vic­tim im­pact state­ment and eight years have passed.

She also noted that Lock­hart has been on ad­min­is­tra­tive du­ties since be­ing charged, hasn’t so­cial­ized and has been treated for de­pres­sion and anx­i­ety.

“The shame and stigma which has fol­lowed Mr. Lock­hart are ev­i­dent,” Paquette said, point­ing to the me­dia cov­er­age, the ef­fects the at­ten­tion has had on his job and the loss of self es­teem.

She also pointed out that the Crown clar­i­fied it never meant to pro­ceed with the case as an in­dictable of­fence, mean­ing a case that would have a more se­ri­ous pun­ish­ment. It had in­tended to be tried as a sum­mary of­fence in pro­vin­cial court. How­ever, be­cause Lock­hart was charged more than 18 months af­ter the of­fence — he was charged five years af­ter the as­sault — the law states the Crown has to pro­ceed with it as an in­dictable of­fence.

The judge also pointed out that had the Crown pro­ceeded sum­mar­ily, the manda­tory firearm pro­hi­bi­tion or­der would not have been ap­plied. As a re­sult, Paquette agreed to ex­empt Lock­hart from the or­der be­cause of his em­ploy­ment as a po­lice of­fi­cer.

She also agreed that Lock­hart did not have to pro­vide a DNA sam­ple.

Con­di­tions of Lock­hart’s con­di­tional sen­tence in­clude that he keep the peace and be of good be­hav­iour, have no con­tact with the woman and ad­here to a cur­few.

His pro­ba­tion con­di­tions also in­clude that he keep the peace, have no con­tact with the woman and no­tify his pro­ba­tion of­fi­cer of any change of ad­dress.

Lock­hart and his lawyer have ap­pealed the ver­dict. There’s no date set yet for when the ap­peal will be ar­gued.

The shame and stigma which has fol­lowed Mr. Lock­hart are ev­i­dent. — Jus­tice Deb­o­rah Paquette

TC ME­DIA FILE PHOTO

Cameron Lock­hart at the Supreme Court of New­found­land and Labrador in St. John’s.

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