June 24th, 2024

Multiple offences net perpetrator nine months


By Delon Shurtz - Lethbridge Herald on December 9, 2022.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDdshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

A 29-year-old man who committed numerous criminal offences over the course of several months earlier this year has been sentenced to nine months in jail.

Mark Brandon Vielle was sentenced this week in Lethbridge provincial court after he pleaded guilty to charges of assault, failure to comply with release conditions, possession of stolen property under $5,000, uttering threats to cause death or bodily harm, failure to register with the Sex Offender Information Registry, possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose, and mischief.

The first of the offences stems from March 11 when Vielle was ordered to register with the sex offender registry following a conviction for performing an indecent act. Vielle was ordered to register within seven days of his release from custody on May 18, but by May 26 he had not registered.

The following June Vielle was in trouble again after he threatened employees at the homeless shelter with a knife, and told a staff member he was “going to cut his throat.” Vielle then pulled the fire alarm.

When police arrived an officer attempted to de-escalate the situation as Vielle walked toward him, but Vielle refused to comply and had to be handcuffed.

Later the same month Vielle was at Galt Gardens and, while holding a knife, told a man and his team to stay away from a tipi and asked if they wanted to die. When police arrived they approached Vielle and saw a hunting knife sticking out of his pocket. At the time of the offence Vielle was on release conditions which prohibited him from possessing a knife and other weapons.

On Aug. 3 Vielle was outside the homeless shelter on the northside threatening clients. An employee confronted Vielle, who threatened to return with a weapon and injure him. Vielle left but returned later and, after being told the soup kitchen was closed, began punching and kicking the door. He took a swing at an employee then pushed him to the ground.

A witness who heard the commotion approached Vielle who told him “I’m going to rip your heart out.”

Police found Vielle shortly afterward a short distance away and he was arrested. During a search police found him in possession of a laptop computer, which Vielle falsely claimed he signed out from the library.

Two weeks later Vielle was at the ARCHES Society on 6 Avenue South and was being verbally abusive and threatening to kill everyone. When police arrived he refused to comply with orders to drop several bags and walked away, then struggled with police as they attempted to arrest and handcuff him. He only stopped resisting arrest when a police dog was brought in to assist.

An employee at ARCHES told police Vielle did not appear to be in his right mind at the time.

“He became upset at her, stated he would kill her, her kids, her family, everyone else in the centre,” Crown Prosecutor Kristi Adams told court.

He grabbed various items lying around in the building, including a laptop computer belonging to the centre and bags belonging to other clients, then left moments before police arrived.

Later the same month, while on release conditions not to have any weapons, Vielle was causing a disturbance at the Telegraph Taphouse downtown and hitting things on the patio and vehicles parked nearby. He also got into a “physical altercation” with a customer and had approached others while he was holding a knife.

At about 12:30 a.m. on Oct. 16 a man called police and said a woman had come to his home on 8 Avenue South screaming and yelling for help. Police found a woman and 16-year-old girl in front of a home down the street, and the woman, who had dried blood around her month, told police Vielle had assaulted her.

While talking to the women, Vielle walked out of the house and was arrested. The woman explained she and Vielle, who at one time were a couple, had been drinking alcohol in the residence when she told him he needed to be a better father to their two children. He became angry, pushed her onto a bed and punched her in the face. The girl tried to help but he pushed her into a closet.

Lethbridge lawyer Marcus Mueller told court his client was placed in foster care when he was only two years old, and then moved to a group home when he was 16. His mother died when he was 19, and although his father is “still around,” they aren’t close.

Vielle suffers from substance abuse and began drinking when he was only 11 years old, and he’s been addicted to methamphetamine for about five years.

Although sentenced to nine months in jail, Vielle was given credit for time spent in pre-trial custody, leaving him with about five and a half months to serve. He will also be on probation for six months after he is released, during which he must not have any contact with the two women he assaulted and not possess any weapons. He must also submit a sample of his DNA to the National DNA Data Bank.

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