A TRU WolfPack hockey player must pay almost $30,000 in restitution to the man he punched in the face outside a bar in 2011, a judge ruled Thursday.
Colten De Frias, 21, was given a conditional discharge — which will leave him with no official criminal record should he follow probation conditions — by provincial court judge Chris Cleaveley.
While he may escape a criminal record after being convicted of assault causing bodily harm, Cleaveley said the restitution order to fix Andrew Giddens’ teeth is a significant penalty itself.
Cleaveley said the restitution order will allow Giddens to pay his dental bills and will also send a message of deterrence, denunciation and “promote a sense of responsibility in Mr. De Frias.”
De Frias was found guilty in December of punching Giddens in the face, fracturing his jaw and knocking out four teeth, Cleaveley noted. Giddens has undergone five root canals since. Dentists have determined he now requires implants, utilizing bone from his hip.
“Mr. De Frias was intoxicated and in a foul mood when he walked up to a passive Mr. Giddens and punched him in the mouth,” Cleaveley said.
The assault happened on Oct. 23, 2011.
De Frias was the leading scorer for Junior B team Kamloops Storm at the time. He now plays for the TRU WolfPack and wants to play for an American university or to play hockey in Europe, Cleaveley said, noting a criminal record would harm those chances.
De Frias has not been disciplined by TRU or the hockey league.
His lawyer said De Frias has saved $1,200 so far and taken anger management classes in wake of the event.
While the sum is considerable and De Frias’s earnings small, Cleaveley said De Frias will be out of school one day.
“It’s obvious at this time Mr. De Frias doesn’t have the full ability to pay the full amount. . . . (But) he’s a young man with good prospects for the future.”
De Frias was also given a year of probation. Terms include that he not drink alcohol or go to a bar.
The Crown had asked that De Frias be jailed for 90 days.