Relentlessly harassing his ex-girlfriend will cost a Kamloops man six months’ freedom, but threatening her if she testified against him led to a much lengthier sentence.
Simon Douglass, 29, was given an additional nine months in jail in provincial court Friday after pleading guilty to five criminal counts, including obstruction of justice and uttering threats.
“When people don’t let go of relationships and cause this kind of fear, it has to be denounced by the court,” said Judge Stella Frame.
Crown and defence counsels had sought a lesser penalty, a concurrent sentence in the order of nine to 12 months.
In February, Douglass’s ex-girlfriend kicked him out after four days due to his drug abuse. He frequently called her, asking for money, when she was at home and at work. She often gave him money, hoping he would stop calling, but he ignored her pleas.
One time he called the complainant as she was speaking to the RCMP about the harassment, but that didn’t deter him from calling her names. In 15 minutes, he called another seven times. He even phoned her employer and said she was a heroin addict.
In another instance, he showed up at her residence and asked for a ride to the hospital for a spider bite. She pushed him out of the home, at which point he punched himself three times in the head and threatened to report that she had assaulted him.
After his arrest on the harassment charge, Douglass called the woman again, this time trying to persuade her not to testify against him.
She has a 10-year-old daughter and teenage son who reside with her.
“She is fearful of him and anyone he may send after her,” said Crown counsel Chris Balison.
Jeremy Jensen, defence counsel, told the judge that Douglass had a “fantastic” upbringing, noting that the man’s parents were in the courtroom and have always lent him support.
“They have followed through with some addiction counseling, but it’s come down to the tough-love stage,” Jensen said. “It’s clearly fuelled by his addiction.”
The man’s efforts to contact his girlfriend were erratic and unsophisticated, making the harassment offence less aggravating than it might have been, he said.
Frame noted the obstruction offence was made more serious by its relation to domestic violence. She gave Douglass a global sentence of 15 months in custody, followed by a year’s probation. Under his probation conditions, he must attend drug and alcohol counselling
For breaching probation, he was given another 14 days to be served concurrently. He’s also to have no contact with the complainant, must submit a DNA sample and is banned from possessing weapons for 10 years.