Defence appeal of 5-year sentence for multiple domestic violence-related offences, including assault with a weapon, obstruction, and unlawfully in a dwelling house. While in custody at the Edmonton Remand Centre (ERC) the accused was assaulted by two guards and suffered a broken arm.

Held: Appeal allowed; sentence reduced by 90 days.

Sentencing judge erred in his finding that the mitigating factor of misconduct by the ERC guards had not been proven. However, the extent of mitigation appropriate in this case was diminished, as the Appellant had planned to provoke an officer to beat him. “The job of a corrections officer is difficult enough without being subjected to taunts of inmates hoping to be abused to gain a financial advantage or perhaps a reduction of sentence. Still, it is reasonable to expect that properly trained corrections officers are able to resist such taunts rather than respond to them by injuring the inmate. The conduct of these officers, including their oblique explanation, cannot be excused.” Three-month reduction appropriate on these unique facts.

A. Sanders – Defence Counsel