A man who bear sprayed his ex-boyfriend in the face and took multiple cars without asking for permission was sentenced to six months in jail Monday afternoon.
The man pleaded guilty to several charges, including assault with a weapon and taking a motor vehicle without consent, that took place between September and November 2021.
The Sun is not naming the 26-year-old man to protect the identity of the victim.
At approximately 2:30 a.m. on Sept. 22, 2021, police responded to a call from a house on Percy Street that a man had been bear sprayed, Crown attorney Jonathan Mays told the court.
When officers arrived, they found the victim in the kitchen in "significant pain," washing the spray from his eyes and face, Mays said.
Witnesses told police several people were gathered around a fire that night before the accused came in through a side gate, according to Mays.
The man then sprayed his ex-boyfriend in the face after an argument earlier in the day.
He tried to flee, but got into an altercation with the other people around the fire, he said.
Then, on Oct. 25, police were dispatched to a report of a vehicle theft, Mays said.
The victim said the accused took the keys to her red 2017 Hyundai Sonata before leaving.
Approximately 45 minutes later, an officer found the car on Van Horne Avenue, Mays said.
An officer saw the man leave the car and try to hide in the nearby railyard, where he was arrested without incident.
On Nov. 1, Brandon police received another complaint a vehicle was taken without the owner’s permission.
A man reported he was drinking with some friends the night before, including with the accused, but over the course of the night someone took the keys, the Crown said.
He hoped the vehicle would be returned on its own but had to call police when it wasn’t.
Officers used the vehicle’s OnStar service to track it down and arrested the man again.
Mays recommended a total sentence of six months in jail, minus time served, and a year-long ban from driving.
He said the fact the accused took cars without asking twice within a week is especially concerning.
Defence lawyer Jennifer Janssens said the man is Indigenous and was going through a difficult time related to his breakup.
He also had mental health concerns, which led to him making bad decisions.
Janssens jointly recommended the sentence with Mays.
Speaking the court via video, the man said he was struggling with the breakup over the month-and-a-half time frame in question, but is prepared to work on himself.
Judge Patrick Sullivan noted the man’s young age and said he still has time to turn his life around.
"It may be an opportunity for you to reflect on your experience now in custody and experience during that time period to think about going forward how you’re going to approach adversity," he said to the man.
Sullivan endorsed the joint recommendation, sentencing the man to a total of 180 days in jail, minus 132 days time already served in jail.
He also sentenced him to a year of supervised probation.
» Twitter: @DrewMay_