July 24th, 2024

Boy put on probation for assaulting parents


By Delon Shurtz - Lethbridge Herald on November 16, 2023.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDdshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

A 15-year-old boy who already has a criminal record that includes convictions for arson, assault and mischief, can expect to receive increasingly harsher sentences if he continues to break the law, a judge told the boy Tuesday in Lethbridge court of justice.

The boy had been placed on probation for each of his previous convictions, but Justice Gregory Maxwell said he is facing a custodial sentence if he continues to break the law.

“You’re getting to the point where that’s likely going to happen if you run into further difficulties,” Maxwell said. “I think I learned a long time ago, you getting a lecture from the court doesn’t do any good, to be very frank with you.”

The boy, who appeared in adult court by CCTV from the Calgary Young Offenders’ Centre so he wouldn’t have to wait a week to attend youth court, pleaded guilty to two charges of assault, and was placed on probation for one year, during which he must behave himself, report to a supervisor as directed, attend court when required, and receive counselling for life skills, anger management, substance abuse and any other counselling as directed by his supervisor. He must also submit a sample of his DNA for the National DNA Data Bank.

On Nov. 11 police were called to a city ice arena where they found the boy unconscious and in medical distress, likely from a drug overdose. He was taken to the hospital then later released to his parents’ care.

The following day the boy and his parents were arguing over the ambulance bill from the day before, as well as the family’s circumstances at the time, and as the argument grew increasingly heated, the boy grabbed a speaker and swung it at his mother, striking her in the arm, then smashed the speaker on the ground. As his father was walking up the stairs in response to the altercation, the boy picked up a tub of empty pop cans and threw it at him.

The boy, who can’t be identified under provisions of the Youth Criminal Justice Act, ran into the backyard and hid, but police found him shortly afterward and arrested him.

Lethbridge lawyer Miranda Hlady told court her young client suffers from Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, and various other functional deficits.

“He is having some challenges in the family home right now, and he doesn’t seem to agree that that environment is a positive placement for him,” Hlady said. “I really don’t think (he) wishes to be in custody or wishes to be before this court, but his addiction issues are causing significant problems in the home.”

Hlady added the boy does not want to live with his parents, and would prefer to stay at Wood’s Homes youth shelter.

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