Woman left ter­ror­ized

Sud­bury man re­peat­edly at­tacked ex-girl­friend; he gets nine months

The Sudbury Star - - NEWS - HAROLD CARMICHAEL THE SUD­BURY STAR hcarmichael@post­media.com Twit­ter: @HaroldCarmichae

An On­tario Court Jus­tice judge is­sued a stern warn­ing Fri­day to a man who re­peat­edly as­saulted his ex-girl­friend in 2017, in­clud­ing at a bus stop and in her apart­ment.

“I don’t think I have ever seen a case of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence of this re­peated na­ture,” Jus­tice John Keast told Ni­cholas Gra­ham, 21, as he is­sued a nine-month jail term. “I have seen lots and lots of other peo­ple in their 20s or 40s, but we don’t see re­peated in­ci­dents at the age of 20.

“You have some real se­ri­ous is­sues to ad­dress and they go far be­yond your opi­oid ad­dic­tion. You are to be com­pli­mented for be­ing on the methadone pro­gram, but you have a se­ri­ous anger prob­lem and a power force and con­trol prob­lem in do­mes­tic re­la­tion­ships ... This is the kind of case where we go for­ward five years down the line and some­body kills some­body, and we take a look at the his­tory and we are not sur­prised.

“The mes­sage is you have a Mount Ever­est to climb here to deal with the de­ci­sions that led you to this kind of trou­ble. This woman has had her life de­stroyed. My in­stinct tells me you don’t re­al­ize how se­ri­ous (your be­hav­iour) is.”

“I do,” said Gra­ham, stand­ing in the pris­oner’s box.

“If you come back for any kind of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence, you are go­ing to go to jail for a very long time,” Keast warned.

Gra­ham, who was fac­ing 37 charges, pleaded guilty to 11 of them. They in­cluded breaches of pro­ba­tion and re­cog­ni­zance, two counts of mis­chief un­der $5,000, one count of driv­ing while sus­pended, and two counts of as­sault on the ex-girl­friend dat­ing back to Sept. 13, 2017.

As Gra­ham had been in cus­tody for 93 days, he re­ceived pre-cus­tody credit of 141 days. That leaves him with 129 days or just over four months left to serve.

Keast also is­sued a 10-year weapons ban and a DNA or­der.

As­sis­tant Crown at­tor­ney Kather­ine Spen­sieri and de­fence lawyer Michael Haraschuk sug­gested the sen­tence.

Keast, how­ever, re­jected a sug­gested 18-month pro­ba­tion or­der and in­stead im­posed a three-year or­der out of con­cern for Gra­ham’s ex-girl­friend.

“It’s to pro­tect her, but it can be non-re­port­ing if pro­gram­ming is com­pleted,” said the judge. “It’s to give in­cen­tive.”

The court heard Gra­ham had been in an on-again, off-again re­la­tion­ship with a Capreol woman that ended for good in July 2017. At that time, he was a pro­hib­ited driver and on two pro­ba­tion or­ders.

On Sept. 13, 2017, the ex-girl­friend was at­tend­ing Cam­brian Col­lege when she told col­lege of­fi­cials Gra­ham struck her in the head when he con­fronted her in a hall­way.

On Sept. 25, the woman con­tacted Greater Sud­bury Po­lice in­di­cat­ing that Gra­ham was at her apart­ment door and at­tempt­ing to get in. Of­fi­cers who in­ves­ti­gated could not find Gra­ham and also checked the Han­mer res­i­dence where he was sup­posed to be re­sid­ing ac­cord­ing to a court or­der, but he was not there.

A war­rant was is­sued for Gra­ham’s ar­rest.

On Sept. 26, Greater Sud­bury Po­lice of­fi­cers check­ing out a re­port of a dis­tur­bance at a bus shel­ter in Capreol about 7:30 a.m., found sev­eral win­dows in the shel­ter kicked out. They talked to two wit­nesses who as­sisted a woman who had been at­tacked. Gra­ham had knocked the vic­tim to the ground and pulled her by the hair.

The ex-girl­friend told po­lice Gra­ham said he wanted to talk to her about their re­la­tion­ship, she re­fused and tried to walk away. Gra­ham then struck her with a closed fist, got her on the ground and be­gan to pull her hair. Gra­ham ran off when other peo­ple in­ter­vened.

The ex-girl­friend told of­fi­cers she feared for her safety be­cause Gra­ham had a drug prob­lem and was very vi­o­lent.

Haraschuk said Gra­ham ad­mits to only grab­bing the woman and push­ing her down.

On July 27, 2017, Gra­ham pleaded guilty mis­chief and re­ceived a penalty of one-day jail and one year pro­ba­tion. But Gra­ham did not re­port for pro­ba­tion ap­point­ments in the fol­low­ing months and his su­per­vi­sor lost track of him by early Oc­to­ber.

On Nov. 4, 2017, the ex-girl­friend was in her apart­ment when Gra­ham en­tered with­out per­mis­sion and pinned her to the floor. The woman was able to get away and ran to a neigh­bour’s res­i­dence for help.

Po­lice of­fi­cers who re­sponded to the in­ci­dent could not lo­cate Gra­ham and he was also not at the Han­mer home where he was sup­posed to be stay­ing.

Haraschuk said Gra­ham pushed the woman, caus­ing her to fall to the floor, and grabbed her.

Later that same day, Gra­ham re­turned to the woman’s home and she again went to a neigh­bour’s apart­ment. Gra­ham left, but re­turned with a golf club, which he used to dam­age the rear of a parked Toy­ota Auris be­long­ing to a man.

Gra­ham was ar­rested on Nov. 13, 2017, in Han­mer. Gra­ham was in an in­co­her­ent state and not mak­ing sense, so po­lice took him to hos­pi­tal as a pre­cau­tion. Gra­ham got bail Nov. 29.

On Aug. 24, 2018, of­fi­cers spot­ted Gra­ham driv­ing a Dodge Ram pickup truck on El­gin Street and ar­rested. At that time, he was on two li­cence sus­pen­sions.

In his sen­tenc­ing sub­mis­sion, Haraschuk in­di­cated the of­fences Gra­ham pleaded guilty to pri­mar­ily oc­curred in 2017 when he was 20. He said Gra­ham is cur­rently work­ing in the Sud­bury Jail kitchen, has been on the methadone pro­gram for about six months, is at­tempt­ing to com­plete his Grade 12 diploma and was a val­ued em­ployee of a con­tract­ing com­pany when he was ar­rested in late Au­gust while driv­ing a com­pany ve­hi­cle.

Haraaschuk said Gra­ham has anger is­sues and taken an anger man­age­ment pro­gram through his doc­tor, and had been deal­ing with a “fairly sig­nif­i­cant” opi­oid ad­dic­tion for three years.

Spen­sieri said that while the guilty pleas spared the ex-girl­friend from hav­ing to tes­tify and Gra­ham is young, his crim­i­nal record, which dates back to 2011, now fea­tures three as­sault and seven mis­chief con­vic­tions, and the new as­saults oc­curred in both pub­lic and pri­vate set­tings.

Spen­sieri said the ex-girl­friend, through her vic­tim im­pact state­ment, in­di­cates she suf­fers on­go­ing panic at­tacks and “fears he will kill her.”

“I’m truly sorry for what I have done and truly sorry and try sorry for ev­ery­thing to (the ex-girl­friend),” Gra­ham told the court.

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