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Time tacked onto sentence for sexual assault

Andrew Miller, who was found guilty of kidnapping and assaulting an Oliver man last year, had his stay behind bars extended by six months.

Miller appeared at Penticton provincial courthouse on Monday via video from a federal penitentiary to plead guilty to sexual assault causing bodily harm that took place in May, in between the time he was found guilty and awaiting sentencing on the kidnapping and assault charges. Judge Gale Sinclair agreed with the joint sentencing position of six months in jail and a one-year peace bond that will be issued closer to his release from prison.

Miller was serving a three-year sentence for the kidnapping and assault of an admitted crack cocaine dealer that took place in February 2009. The 23-year-old, along with his mother Nicolette Miller and her common-law partner Leonard Thompson, met the victim in Oliver looking for crack cocaine. They forced him into their vehicle and drove him out to Pyramid Park north of Penticton, where they planned to turn him over to drug dealers he owed money to. The man was beaten up on the drive and at the park, where he eventually escaped by swimming out into the icy water of Okanagan Lake. He suffered injuries ranging from scratches and open wounds to bruises, broken ribs and eight broken teeth.

Miller received the lesser sentence of the three, with Supreme Court Justice Heather Holmes sentencing his mother and her common-law partner each to four-and-a-half years in jail.

The trio remained on bail between the jury decision and their sentencing in August. On Monday, the court heard during that period, on May 22, a woman attended the Oliver RCMP detachment with injuries to her head, red swollen lips and rosy cheeks. The woman said she was sleeping with Miller when she woke up to him punching her in the face, choking her and uttering threats.

Defence counsel Robert Maxwell said Miller and the victim showed up at his home drunk after attending a bush party. He said a jealousy issue arose the evening prior that led to Miller receiving a black eye and a shovel across his back. This spurred an argument at the home. Maxwell then said Miller made sexual advances towards the victim, and thought because she did not say no that there was nothing wrong with it.

“You and I know that doesn’t cut it, but that was his mindset. He knows now what he did was wrong and that is why he is pleading guilty,” said Maxwell.

Miller was to be released from jail on probation from his three-year sentence on Feb. 16, having served less than eight months of his original sentence.

 

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