Monday September 01, 2014

Crown seeks $29,000 restitution for broken teeth

Man's jaw and four teech broken in street fight

The Crown wants a Kamloops hockey player who broke a man’s jaw and four of his teeth in a street fight to pay restitution of more than $29,000.

Prosecutor Katie Bouchard told provincial court judge Chris Cleaveley that amount will compensate the victim, Andrew Giddens, for out-of-pocket medical expenses, lost wages and future dental costs.

Colton De Frias, 21, was convicted late last year of assault causing bodily harm. He was charged after a fight outside a downtown bar in October 2011.

The Crown also wants De Frias jailed 90 days and given one year of probation. The defence wants a conditional discharge — a sentence that would leave De Frias without a criminal record. Lawyer Ken Walker also questioned the amount of restitution, noting he was provided the number just three days before the hearing.

Judge Cleaveley will give his decision in February.

Bouchard said in cases like this, restitution should be awarded if damages are “readily ascertainable.” In this instance, De Frias has already paid more than $4,000 and the dental work needed to restore his mouth — experts recommend dental implants to replace the lost teeth — will cost more than $25,000.

Walker said his client, a TRU student, will have a hard time paying such a large amount.  De Frias has set aside about $1,200 so far, the judge was told.

But Bouchard said ability to pay has no bearing on whether a restitution order should be made.

“He is young, he is somebody with good prospects and he does have a lifetime earning potential before him,” Bouchard told the judge.

Walker told the court the incident was out of character for De Frias.

“This was a spontaneous act fuelled by alcohol. It did not last long, it was one or two punches, and it was over. Looking at the whole matter, you can only conclude this was completely out of character for Mr. De Frias,” Walker said.

De Frias was the leading scorer for the Kamloops Storm in 2011, when the fight happened. He now plays for the TRU WolfPack hockey team.

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