Man gets restraining order after assaulting ex


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A Steinbach resident is barred from seeing ex-girlfriend after hitting her in the face.

Geoffrey Eric Walls, 47, hit his then-partner on May 26, 2023, while intoxicated and was arrested by RCMP.

The Crown and Walls’ defence entered a joint recommendation at the hearing in St-Pierre-Jolys on June 25, as he entered a guilty plea for one year of supervised probation and attend plea counselling. He was also given a restriction to not be near his ex-girlfriend.

Walls does have a criminal record with failures to appear in 2005 and 2009. He also received a suspended sentence for assault in 2009 with an 18-month probation. Along with uttering threats in 2013 where he received another suspended sentence.

Crown attorney Jon Mays said Walls assaulted the victim at the Sleep Suite Motel in Steinbach, where Walls had been staying because of an earlier dispute between the two at their home. The victim went to the Sleep Suite to visit Walls after having headaches.

Mays said that Walls had been drinking large amounts of alcohol while the victim was at the motel before a struggle over her purse happened when he struck her and reached out to choke her.

The victim then hit Walls, drawing blood. The couple then left their room and were seen by motel staff who called the RCMP.

Steinbach RCMP talked to the victim and arrested Walls, who spent three days in custody, which Judge Robert Heinrichs said was considered when sentencing.

“This has been a very emotional incident for (the victim), it ultimately resulted in a breakdown of the relationship and it coming to a conclusion,” said Mays. “She was obviously very emotional when I was speaking to her this morning.”

“She does not want to see Mr. Walls, she believes it would be too stressful for her at this time, although she is thankful that he is taking accountability for his actions.”

Mays added that this case is light compared to other assault cases, with this being the only instance of a domestic dispute being brought up at the hearing in the St Pierre courtroom.

“I don’t want to minimize the assault, but on the spectrum of assaults that we see, this was a smack to the head,” Mays said. “It caused her considerable discomfort in the short term in terms of dizziness, but it’s still a simple assault, this isn’t an assault (the victim) had long-term injuries from.”

Walls’ defence attorney Manny Bhangu said his client suffered most in the altercation, but that he knows what he did wasn’t good for the relationship or the family.

“Mr. Walls is also coming here indicating that (the victim) was the love of his life,” said Bhangu. “And he does really care about the kids, Mr. Walls understands that this is an end to everything, his guilty plea was largely premised on the fact that he was extremely intoxicated on the day in question.”

Part of the joint recommendation was for Walls to be able to see his four children, one of which is his biological daughter.

A few months after the arrest, Walls moved into his boss’ mechanic shop as he did not have another place to live. He is hoping to move to Winnipeg once he is able, according to Bhangu.

“Mr. Walls for the last nine months has been living essentially on a mattress, that’s been his life, he has been under a curfew there. He is hoping to be able to start fresh again, get his own residence. Mr. Walls is on the path to being able to be a better person and put these things behind them.”

Walls said he was surprised by the actions he committed in May 2023, and that it’s not representative of who he is.

“It hurts, I love this woman, it happened, and I can’t take it back, I can’t fix this,” said Walls.

Heinrichs agreed with the joint recommendation, with an exception for a mutual friend, identified as Cameron, to pick up Walls’ belongings that are still at the victim’s house.

“I appreciate that you have a realistic perspective on it, never say never, but that’s out of your hands right now,” Heinrichs said.

Walls said he was thankful for the sentence and that he knows he has to move on.

“I was always hoping that the family would come back together, but she’s made it quite clear that that’s never going to happen, and I have to live with that,” said Walls. “I’m not happy about it but it’s out of my control, I can’t tell someone what to do, can’t tell someone not to feel. But I will always love her.”

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