Jail for South Okanagan man who assaulted and threatened to throw girlfriend off a bridge

A man found guilty of assaulting his ex-girlfriend causing serious injuries is spending the next year in jail.

Jail for South Okanagan man who assaulted and threatened to throw girlfriend off a bridge

Assaulting his girlfriend at the time and threatening to throw her off a bridge has put Chad Douglas Shunter in jail for the next year.

The 48 year old man, was found guilty of assault causing bodily harm and one count of uttering threats following a trial in June and sentenced at the Penticton Provincial courthouse on Aug 31.

On Jan. 27 Schunter was driving with his girlfriend at the time to his remote worksite east of Osoyoos where he drove heavy-duty equipment for a logging company.

The two were arguing while driving up the highway near Anarchist mountain, with Schunter alleging the woman was cheating on him. Schunter struck the woman multiple times before she jumped out of the truck while it was moving. She suffered abrasions to her left shoulder and left wrist.

Judge Meg Shaw said in her sentencing decision on Aug. 31 the victim may or may not have injured her clavicle in the same fall.

“It is not proven that the offender directly caused the injury to the clavicle,” Shaw said.

The victim suffered a broken right rib and a punctured right lung as a result of the assault, along with other bruising and contusions on her face.

Schunter also threatened to break the woman’s arms and legs and throw her off a bridge.

Schunter has previous convictions for assault, including on a former female partner, where he also breached conditions by trying to contact her afterward.

The victim said she has suffered “significant pain and ongoing emotional consequences,” from the incident through a victim impact statement, and that she “continues to suffer the significant impact from the assault emotionally.”

Shaw said Schunter made around $6,000 a month, but much of his income was spent on cocaine.

Shaw noted Schunter’s loss of his brother in 2005, and the loss of his cousin in 2006 — as well as a close friend who committed suicide in Schunter’s home when he was a teenager. Schunter also said through counsel he lost most of his belongings, his job and his car since his arrest on Jan. 27.

“I have further considered the series of tragedies in Mr. Schunter’s life, but I find at some point Mr. Schunter must take responsibility to overcome (these) hardships,” Shaw said.

Schunter’s defence counsel Don Skogstad submitted a sentencing position of time served (182 days) in custody since his January arrest.

Shaw, however, agreed with Crown counsel Nashina Devji’s position of two years jail time — with around one year and one month remaining on his sentence after enhanced in-custody credit. Shaw also gave Schunter 18 months of probation with conditions not to contact the victim or be near her school, residence or workplace and a 10-year firearm prohibition.