A Penticton man who kicked a police officer in the face while she was on the ground was mere seconds from serving his jail sentence intermittently on weekends before speaking up in court.
Jakob Fredrick Gudgeon Holmes, 24, appeared before Judge Gregory Koturbash Monday morning for a sentencing hearing for charges of resisting a police officer and assault on a police officer, stemming from an April 22 incident last year.
Throughout the hearing, defence lawyer Paul Varga appeared to be struggling with a vocal Holmes, who, at times, interrupted Koturbash, and on a number of occasions signalling for Holmes to be quiet by touching his forearm.
Crown lawyer Andrew Vandersluys told the court police received reports of a man attempting to enter vehicles near Midas Muffler. Attending officer Cpl. Laurie Rock found Holmes behind the business, where he tried a car’s door handle.
After Holmes fled and a physical struggle between the two, Rock managed to get Holmes onto the ground and call for backup.
“Mr. Holmes was able to push himself up from the ground, knocked Cpl. Rock backwards, causing her to lose her footing and fall to the ground,” Vandersluys said. “Mr. Holmes started yelling, and as Cpl. Rock was trying to get back up, Mr. Holmes kicked Cpl. Rock in her face, calling her a f—-ing b——.”
Rock’s nose was bleeding by the time she stood up and backup arrived to arrest Holmes, according to Vandersluys. Rock suffered headaches and pain in the head for five days following the incident.
Varga said Holmes, who has a prior break-and-enter conviction in Ontario, has learned a lesson about drinking to the point of being blackout drunk and that it can lead to waking up in holding cells with no memory of the night before.
Holmes said he was attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings following his “outrageous” actions, but said he was still occasionally drinking, to which Koturbash suggested residential addictions treatment, which the court is unable to impose.
But when asked if he could keep off the liquor if the court were to hand him a no-drinking probation order, Holmes said he was being “very honest” when he said he was not sure if he could.
“I might be setting you up for failure if I impose a condition that you’re not to consume alcohol, but I think more importantly I’d be failing the public if I didn’t,” Koturbash said.
Crown sought a 60- to 90-day jail sentence, while defence suggested a conditional sentence to be served in the community so Holmes could keep his dishwashing job.
But as Holmes maintained his hesitance regarding abstaining from drinking, Koturbash said it was clear a conditional sentence would not work, and Koturbash had to decide between an intermittent sentence or a straight run.
Though Varga suggested maintaining work and being in jail would be productive for Holmes and would not lend much time to drink, Koturbash initially set out to hand Holmes a straight jail sentence, telling Holmes “the time has come where you need a forced dry-out period.”
“You’re sure you can’t do it? You can’t stay off?” Koturbash asked after effectively handing down the 45-day sentence.
Koturbash noted he had a difficult time matching the crime with the appearance of Holmes, a soft-spoken man of relatively small stature and mild demeanour.
“I have concerns you’re going into an institution, where it’s not, for you particularly, seen as being a place that things will go very well for you.”
After Holmes suggested he could make some changes, Koturbash turned the sentence into an intermittent one to be served on weekends.
“And if there are any breaches of the alcohol order, you can rest assured that you will be doing straight time,” Koturbash said.
Holmes asked if that would refer to any breaches he has already made, at which Varga made apparent attempts to tell Holmes not to say anything further. But after Koturbash asked what he meant, Holmes said he would be attending court again in a few days for a breach of a court order for drinking alcohol.
“As much as I’d like to see you doing it intermittently, I think that it’s just going to turn into a mess, and we’re going to be back here in very short order,” an apparently frustrated Koturbash said, again amending the sentence to 45 days straight.
A search of court services online did not produce records of a breach of a court order, nor any B.C. court appearances for Holmes outside of the charges resulting from the April 22 incident.