July 18th, 2024

Man gets jail for assault, breaching sentence order

By Delon Shurtz - Lethbridge Herald on January 12, 2024.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDdshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

Andrew Albert Watson was already serving a 15-month conditional sentence when he was arrested and charged last month for assaulting a woman.

Watson received the conditional sentence – which allows an offender to serve custody in the community, typically under house arrest and/or curfew – for charges of drug trafficking and possession of a weapon. That sentence from last July was put on hold Thursday in Lethbridge court of justice, where Watson received an actual jail term after he pleaded guilty to one count of assault and two counts of breaching his conditional sentence order.

Shortly after midnight on Dec. 13 police received a 911 call and could hear people arguing including a woman who said, “get out of my house. Are you going to stab me in the heart? You’re going to kill someone over $60.”

The woman could be heard arguing with a man and what sounded like a physical altercation, then the line went dead.

A couple of minutes later the woman called police again and said she had been assaulted by Watson, who police found shortly afterward in a nearby alley.

The woman told police she and Watson, who had only known each other for a short time, got into an argument after he accused her of taking his phone, $60 and some drugs.

“She said during the course of that argument when she was on the phone with 911, that Mr. Watson picked her up, squeezed her then dropped her onto the floor of the living room,” explained Crown Prosecutor Bob Morrison.

Watson then realized the woman was on the phone with 911 and left.

Morrison pointed out Watson was still bound by his conditional sentence order, which, among other conditions, required him to keep the peace and be of good behaviour. The CSO also required him to report to probation last September, which he failed to do.

Watson was sentenced to 90 days in jail, minus 45 days for time he spent in remand custody.

His CSO is suspended for that time, but will resume when his jail sentence is completed. His lawyer pointed out there will be about 10 months left on the CSO when Watson is released from custody.

Additional charges of uttering threats to cause death or bodily harm, drug possession, failure to comply with release conditions, and two counts of possession of a prohibited firearm, were withdrawn.

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