June 15th, 2024

Referee assault case headed back to trial

By Delon Shurtz - Lethbridge Herald on February 2, 2022.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDdshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

A 57-year-old man who pleaded not guilty to a 2019 assault charge, then decided to resolve the charge without a trial, has changed his mind again.
Robert Farrell Creighton was all set to stand trial in January of last year, but only days before the trial was to proceed it was cancelled after Creighton’s lawyer said the matter would be resolved. Calgary lawyer Balfour Der told court there had been ongoing resolution discussions between defence and the Crown, but it took time to “dot all the i’s and cross all the t’s.”
“We have resolved our case in relation to my client,” Der said at the time.
That was a year ago, however. Since then there have been numerous adjournments and Creighton has changed lawyers.
During a hearing Tuesday in Lethbridge provincial court, an agent for Creighton’s current lawyer, Dean Zuk, pleaded not guilty on Creighton’s behalf and the matter was adjourned to the Case Management Office at the courthouse to schedule another trial. 
Creighton was charged in relation to a three-on-three hockey tournament Sept. 15, 2019, during which a young 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.
During the subsequent melee, 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.
Creighton was charged with Todd William Cross Child, who also initially pleaded not guilty, as well, and was set to stand trial a year ago before it was cancelled. Cross Child pleaded guilty in June to one count of assault and was given a four-month conditional sentence, to be served in the community, and for which he was placed on curfew. He was also placed on probation for eight months, to begin at the conclusion of his sentence.

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