Accused pleaded guilty to assault causing bodily harm. He was looking after the child of his partner. Complainant was the child’s father. He was not happy that the accused was involved with care of the child, and confronted him. Accused asked him to leave, but he did not. Complainant stated that, for all he knew, he could be a pedophile. Accused had been sexually assaulted as a child, and he perceived this to be meant as an insinuation. It triggered a reaction by him, and he slapped the complainant on the side of the head, causing an ear drum rupture. No criminal record and positive PSR.

Held: Conditional discharge.

 “[T]his Offender’s moral culpability is low, this was an impulsive, in-the-moment act, not designed to cause harm and triggered by the provocative reference” in the context of his background. The Court added, “It is in the public interest for this individual to continue to succeed in society in the positive fashion that preceded this unfortunate incident for both he and the victim.  It would not be contrary to the public interest to allow this Offender to reach his full potential.”

G. White – Defence Counsel