January 17th, 2021

Men plead not guilty to assaulting hockey referee

By Shurtz, Delon on July 11, 2020.

Delon Shurtz

lethbridge herald


Two men charged after a referee was attacked at a youth hockey tournament in Lethbridge last year have pleaded not guilty to assault charges and may set a date for trial when they return to court later this month.

Lethbridge lawyer Miranda Hlady and David Roper, student-at-law with DER Barristers in Calgary, entered the pleas Friday for Robert Farrell Creighton and Todd William Cross Child during a brief hearing in Lethbridge provincial court. The Crown also elected to deal with the charges by summary procedure rather than by indictment, which is more serious and can result in custodial sentences of up to five years for assault.

Creighton, 55, who faces one count of assault, and Cross Child, 37, who faces two counts of assault, were charged in relation to a three-on-three tournament Sept. 15, during which, according to police, a player got into a verbal spat with a referee. The youth struck the official with his stick and the referee pushed the player to the ice.

A group of coaches and a relative of the player then walked onto the ice, where a coach from the opposing team was allegedly shoved down and the ref was punched multiple times by two men before the altercation ended.

The annual Quest for the Cup tournament involved players between the ages of seven and 12 years and was organized by the Lethbridge-based skills development business, High Performance Hockey.

The case is scheduled to return to court July 31, ostensibly to set a trial date. The trial is expected to take more than one day. In the meantime, the lawyers, Crown and judge are expected to meet for a pre-trial conference to determine a suitable date for the trial, and discuss issues relating to it.

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