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Phone harassment leads to jail time

By: Adriana Mingo

Posted: 02/13/2017 10:15 AM

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After a relationship breakdown with the mother of his child, a Ste Anne man took it upon himself to harass her by calling and texting her frequently at all hours of the day.

Following threats against a new boyfriend, Steinbach court heard on Thursday that the woman had enough of feeling she couldn’t do anything without her ex-boyfriend ruining it and went to the Ste Anne Police. Gilbert Ste Marie, 24, was subsequently arrested after it was found he attempted to call the complainant 249 times between Feb. 1, 2016 and July 1, 2016.

Ste Marie first pleaded guilty to uttering threats, failing to abstain from alcohol, attempting to disarm a police officer and an amended variation of criminal harassment in November. He was originally charged with criminal harassment by Ste Anne police but pleaded guilty to unlawfully making repeated telephone calls with intent to harass the complainant.

Crown attorney Amy Wood said Ste Marie would call or text the complainant threatening her, her boyfriend and her father. Alternatively, some texts described how much he loved and missed the woman.

Ste Marie was charged with uttering threats after threatening the complainant’s boyfriend when making a custody exchange with his now three-year-old daughter.

In a separate incident on Aug. 20, Ste Marie came into police contact during an impaired driving investigation where he was the passenger. Ste Marie was intoxicated, violating a court order to abstain from alcohol.

During the incident, the officer told Ste Marie to remain in the vehicle. Instead, Ste Marie bolted from the vehicle and led police on a foot pursuit down the street. He attempted to hide from police under a deck. He then ran from under the deck and was tackled by the officer. Ste Marie resisted arrest, the court heard, and grabbed the butt-end of the officer’s firearm in an attempt to disarm him.

Wood recommended Ste Marie be sentenced to six months in custody.

Judge Ken Champagne imposed 30-day sentence for the criminal harassment charge, 60 days for uttering threats, six months for attempting to disarm a police officer and 30 days for failing to abstain from alcohol—for a total of 10 months of jail time.

Ste Marie’s lawyer, Matthew Carvell, recommended his client given a conditional sentence order to allow for the sentence to be served under strict conditions in the community.

Champagne rejected Carvell’s submission but did reduce Ste Marie’s time in jail to six months by allowing him to serve his sentences concurrently.

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