A Penticton man who has evaded sentencing for three years for an assault and break and enter, where he forcibly took his toddler from his ex-girlfriend, came before a judge on Wednesday.
Martin Racine, who had a warrant out for his arrest when taken into custody in Alberta, was sentenced to 12 months for the break and enter and 60 days for the assault — to be served concurrent. After factoring in pre-trial custody, he will have 218 days left in jail.
Judge Michelle Daneliuk said she took several things into consideration in her sentencing decision including the violence that was used, the extent of injuries he caused and that the incident involved him taking a toddler from her mother.
“Not only without the mother’s consent, which frankly is conducted bordering on abduction, but with the use of force against the mother at the time he took the child away from her. The third aggravating factor is the danger he put his daughter in as a result of firstly being extremely intoxicated at the time when he left with her and secondly leaving with her being inadequately dressed being only in a diaper and blanket in mid-November,” said Daneliuk.
It was in 2015 when Racine and his ex-girlfriend had broken up and he showed up to her door and was refused entry. The Ministry of Children and Family Development had created a safety plan for the mother and daughter, which included prohibiting Racine from attending her residence. Racine smashed a window and door to gain entrance and continued to destroy property — smashing a flat screen TV. He assaulted his ex-girlfriend before fleeing the residence with their daughter who was just 18 months old at the time.
Racine was arrested at a local motel shortly after and the child was returned, unharmed, to the mother. Daneliuk said the mother received bruising throughout her body, including a severe bruised and swollen eye.
In the victim impact statement, the woman said she feared for her life and more intensely for the life of their daughter. She reported lingering issues with her physical injuries some six months later and suffered psychological impacts.
Racine had one prior conviction at the time of the offences which also involved victimization of a former partner.The judge said Racine entered an early guilty plea on the matter he was appearing for, just five days after he was initially arrested, and in a pre-sentence report he expressed genuine remorse about his actions. However, over the course of the three years that Racine was wanted on a warrant, Daneliuk said he had several breaches in Alberta and a conviction of driving while impaired.
“I conclude that had he not been arrested in Alberta on other offences and held in custody and forcibly brought back to Penticton he likely would not have faced this matter on his own volition,” said Daneliuk.
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