Welcome to my Crime and Justice blog! I am a 19 year old criminal justice student at the University of Winnipeg. I advocate for prisoners' rights, human rights, equality and criminal justice/prison system reforms.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Man who abused wife and daughter, sentenced to 16 months jail

BRANDON -- A man from western Manitoba is going to jail after conducting a "reign of terror" over his wife and two daughters for years after he suffered a brain injury falling from a roof.
Judge John Combs said Tuesday there's no doubt there's a connection between the injury and the man's "abhorrent" and "sadistic" behaviour.

But the judge rejected defence lawyer Bob Harrison's request for a conditional sentence -- the abuse was too serious for a sentence to be served in the community -- and the judge sent the offender to jail instead.
"To suggest he continually abused his family is an understatement," Combs said.
The man was sentenced Monday for a string of abuse that stretched from April 2002 to September 2005 and included sexual assaults against his daughters and a series of brutal beatings of his wife.
His name and the small Westman town where the offences were committed can't be published because his daughters were youths at the time of the offences.
It was in August 2007 that the daughters and the wife went to RCMP.
The offender pleaded guilty to counts of assault and sexual assault on March 16.
The man was sentenced to 16 months in jail followed by three years' probation.
He'll be registered with the national sex offender registry for 20 years.

I disagree with jail time. This man is not a danger to society, as he only abused family members previously. Prison should only be given to those who need to be incapacitated because they are too dangerous to be in the community. This man does not fit that profile. He should have received a conditional sentence with orders not to have contact with the victims, or to participate in victim offender mediation among other conditions. Also, if he suffered a brain injury which caused his behaviour, he shouldn't be in jail but should be receiving medical and mental help. If that is the case, his actions were not rational. This man suffered from a brain injury, and that can cause chemical imbalances and ineffective functioning. It can cause people to become violence and abusive when they never would have acted in such a way prior to the injury. If there is evidence to show that his behaviour stemmed directly from the brain injury, a sentence of not criminally responsible would make more sense and this man should be receiving mental and medical treatment, as opposed to prison. The conditions in prison could worsen his condition. Brain injuries DEFINITELY impact behaviour. Depending where the injury takes place, it can significantly impair rational thought or even from stopping impulsive behaviour. It can make someone extremely violent without provocation or with very little. A person has no control over this. Their brain is not functioning properly. His violent behaviour was likely not from a predisposition, but stemming from the injury. Hopefully this man can get the help he needs through emotion management and treatment and therapy.

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