June 14th, 2024

Man charged in attack on hockey referee back in court on Sept. 22

By Lethbridge Herald on September 7, 2021.

Tim Kalinowski

Lethbridge Herald


A man accused of attacking a referee at a hockey tournament in 2019 will return to court later this month to take the next steps in his case.

Robert Farrell Creighton, who was co-accused with Todd William Cross Child in the case, had originally pleaded guilty to charges he attacked a referee but ultimately struck his plea, and is expected to potentially enter a plea and set a date for trial or sentencing on Sept. 22 in Lethbridge provincial court.

Cross Child pleaded guilty in June to the charges against him and was given a four-month conditional sentence that he can serve in the community, during which he will be subject to a curfew between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. every day. He will also be on probation for eight months following the conclusion of his sentence.

At the time of sentencing, Cross Child stated he did not set a good example by his actions.

“I did not set a good example for the boys of either team, especially my own team,” Cross Child told the court at the time. “I assure you it will not happen again.”

Cross Child confessed to grabbing the ref, David Schindel, by his torso and pulling him to the ice, causing his helmet to come off. The ref then went into a “turtling position,” while he was attacked.

Cross Child confessed he held onto Schindel while Creighton allegedly punched Schindel around the head and neck at least three times as he was turtled on the ground.

Calgary lawyer Balfour Der, who represented Creighton in the case at the time, had originally hoped to resolve his client’s charges earlier this year, and had been optimistic about ongoing discussions with the Crown. That was before Creighton struck his original guilty plea. Der has since withdrawn as attorney of record on the case.

The two men were charged in relation to a three-on-three hockey tournament Sept. 15, 2019, during which a player got into a verbal spat with a referee, police reported.

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.

-With files by Delon Shurtz

Follow @TimKalHerald on Twitter

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