A Simpcw First Nation man with a lengthy criminal past linked to substance addiction and a legacy of childhood abuse was sentenced Tuesday to nine months' jail and two years' probation for assault with a weapon.
Jonah Jules, 39, apologized to the court after pleading guilty to attacking another man on July 26 in North Kamloops.
Police responded at 11 p.m. to a report of four males fighting on Tranquille Road. They saw one man push another and then attempt to leave the scene of the altercation. Jules appeared heavily intoxicated and was combative as he was arrested.
At the scene, a second male pulled a third male, bleeding heavily from a head wound, in front of police and said, "See what he did?"
According to witness statements, Jules and another man, James Spence, had left the group to purchase more alcohol, leaving Spence's girlfriend, Alexandra Burrows, with Joe Joseph.
Burrows told the others when they returned that Joseph had sexually touched her. Jules grabbed a bottle and hit Joseph over the head, they said.
Burrows chose not to pursue a sexual assault charge against Joseph. Joseph is recovering from the assault but will probably left with scars.
"It could have been worse than what it was but it's still significant under the circumstances," said Crown prosecutor Stephen Lawhead.
Jules' last conviction was for aggravated assault in 2010, when he received a 22-month sentence. That was his fifth conviction for assault, including two convictions for assault causing bodily harm.
Crown and defence jointly recommended a sentence at the low end of the range for the latest offence, citing Jules' background from a pre-sentence report completed in 2010.
Defence counsel Don Campbell said Jules appears to suffer from the same lack of impulse control that surrounded him during his childhood. Between age five and 12, Jules suffered physical, sexual and mental abuse at the hands of family members. Surrounded by drug and alcohol abuse, he began drinking at age 10 and was in trouble with the law at 12.
"Mr. Jules was given little opportunity to escape the abusive lifestyle he was exposed to," said Justice Dev Dley in agreeing with the joint submission. The man recognizes, however, that substance abuse is the root cause of his offending, Dley said.
Jules was credited a month for time served. His probation conditions include attending assessment and treatment programs as instructed.
Dley stopped short of including a no-alcohol term, since that might serve only to trigger more breaches for Jules and thwart his chance of rehabilitation.