October 30th, 2020

Man found guilty, sentenced in quick trial


By Kalinowski, Tim on January 30, 2020.

Tim Kalinowski

Lethbridge Herald

tkalinowski@lethbridgeherald.com

After refusing to call any witnesses in his own defence and refusing to cross-examine any of the witnesses against him, Kurtis Lauren Babb of Lethbridge was convicted of common assault and sentenced in perhaps the quickest trial in recent memory – the entire proceedings lasting about an hour.

When asked if he wished to make any presentations by provincial court Judge G.S. Maxwell in his own defence, as he has the right to do, Babb, who was defending himself, simply responded: “This is not my court.”

“It is not of my belief that I am a criminal, sir,” he later told the court in sentencing. “In God I trust. My belief is the truth, and the truth is the belief.”

Babb’s conviction stems from an incident on July 28, 2019, which occurred at the property he was listed as the manager of at the time when he reportedly struck a female tenant, whom a publication ban prevents The Herald from identifying, first with a sandal to the top of the head and then right after with a punch to the face.

The only explanation Babb offered to the court was the woman was allegedly drunk at the time and the evidence against him was fabricated, but he offered no direct evidence or corroborating testimony to support this.

In fact Lethbridge Police Service officers had been to the property to arrest the woman’s roommate after Babb had called police a few hours earlier to report a domestic disturbance, finding the roommate “extremely intoxicated,” and the woman “rather sober,” the court was told. The woman testified she was confronted by Babb after the police left and had told him, “he had no right to enter my home whenever he wanted just because he was the property manager.”

She testified he had then struck her with the sandal causing a bump on her head. When she told him she would be calling the police to report the assault, she testified that’s when Babb had struck her with his fist in the right temple, bending her glasses and causing a small cut.

Despite Babb’s declaration the woman’s testimony was a fabrication, many of the details of her story were corroborated by LPS officers who responded to the scene, stated Crown lawyer Ian Elford, including the fact there had been no visible injuries on the victim when police had arrested her roommate a few hours earlier. The roommate was still in custody when officers returned to the scene to address the accusations of assault made by the victim against Babb.

Judge Maxwell found the victim’s testimony compelling, and the corroboration of certain details of her testimony by the responding officers conclusive enough to convict Babb. That was in the first 45 minutes.

In sentencing, Elford suggested a sentence of 40-60 days was appropriate under the circumstances. Maxwell imposed a sentence of 45 days and added a stipulation that Babb would released under a 12-month peace bond when his time in jail was served, which included a no contact order with the victim.

Babb, who has other matters still before the courts, was given a 29-day credit for time served in pre-trial custody, leaving him with 16 days still left to serve.

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