A man who assaulted his girlfriend multiple times over the course of two days has been sentenced to time served as well as 18 months probation.
Matthew Andert, 25, pleaded guilty in Brandon provincial court on Monday to assault, mischief to property and failing to comply with court-ordered conditions not to contact the victim.
Brandon police received a call from a woman on Aug. 26, Crown attorney Caroline Lacey said, stating that she needed help right away at her home before disconnecting the call.
While officers were on their way, two additional calls were received from people reporting they had seen a man and a woman holding a child in a domestic dispute, Lacey said. One of the people said she saw the man strike the woman.
Officers arrived on scene to find the caller distraught and crying, Lacey said. Her right eye was purple and she had bruises covering her upper arms.
She told police she and her boyfriend had started arguing the day prior, Lacey said, which resulted in Andert throwing her into a table, where she hit her head.
Because she had a lump on her head the two went to the hospital, Lacey said, but returned home after they were told to come back the next day.
However, they continued to argue the following day and things escalated again, Lacey said.
Andert threw a plastic, toy frying pan at the woman’s back before punching her in the head.
The woman tried to call 911, but Andert grabbed her phone and poured water on it before throwing it out of the house, Lacey said.
Andert then grabbed a kitchen knife and went outside, where he slashed a tire on her vehicle.
The woman took the opportunity to lock Andert out of the home while he was outside, but he climbed back in through an open window.
When the woman tried to leave the house, he grabbed her by the throat, Lacey said.
Andert was arrested and released on conditions not to have contact with the victim, Lacey said, but on Sept. 9 he showed up at her house asking for his stuff.
The victim refused to let him inside the house and he got mad, Lacey said, hitting her mailbox before leaving.
"Parliament has made domestic violence situations statutorily aggravating for a reason," Lacey said. "Domestic violence is a huge problem in our society and it’s important to send the message … that these situations won’t be tolerated."
Defence lawyer Jennifer Janssens said the incident was "very out of character" for Andert, and that he was very remorseful for what he had done.
"He takes full responsibility for what occurred that day," Janssens said, adding Andert was willing to participate in domestic violence counselling to make sure nothing like this happens again.
"I made a mistake. I never meant for it to get out of hand," Andert said.
Judge John Combs sentenced Andert to approximately a month and a half of time served to be followed by 18 months of supervised probation.
"The breakup of a relationship can bring out the dark side of any person, and obviously that’s what happened here," Combs said. "Your conduct was really disturbing those couple of days … the way you reacted is a real concern and hopefully one of your goals is to get any assistance you need to make sure this doesn’t happen again."
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