Schizophrenic accused pleaded guilty to spitting in the face of a volunteer at a homeless shelter. Accused told the sentencing judge that he was HIV and Hep-C positive. Long record. Sentencing judge imposed a 2 year sentence.

Held: Appeal allowed, sentence reduced to 20 months.

Accused lied about being HIV positive, therefore, a sentence reduction was required. “However, spitting (particularly into the face of a complainant) is a demeaning and degrading form of assault and one that is taken seriously by the courts of this province.” Regarding mental illness, the accused had continually refused to comply with treatment orders. O’Ferrall, JA dissented, and would have imposed time served plus probation given the accused’s mental illness.

A. Serink, Defence Counsel