Slow start to LORDA syrup production
LANSDOWNE – Jim Crawford holds out a cup filled with a clear liquid. It doesn’t look like much – in fact it just looks like water.
PICTOU – A Westville man will serve 90 days in jail for sexually interfering with a 12-year-old girl.
Matthew John MacDonald, 19, will be allowed to serve his sentence intermittently and will be on probation for 12 months.
The charge stems from a night when MacDonald and two female friends were drinking heavily until early morning hours when they returned to one of the females’ home and all three went up to her bedroom.
“Strange as it may seem to some of us, the two girls and Mr. MacDonald were in the same bed, and not for the first time. The term is cuddling,” said defence attorney Hector MacIsaac.
He added MacDonald, who was highly intoxicated, got up to go to the bathroom and “wound up” in a different bedroom, in bed with a younger sister of one of the female friends. After repeated sexual touching, the frightened 12-year-old left her room and ran to her mother’s.
The victim provided the court with a victim impact statement but declined to read it. Her mother told the court her younger daughter does not feel safe in her own home and her older daughter is no longer allowed to bring friends into the home. She added she knows her younger daughter will require counselling but is not yet willing.
MacDonald apologized to the court, the victim and her family, expressing his hope that the girl will recover completely.
Judge Del Atwood accepted a joint recommendation from MacIsaac and Crown prosecutor Jody McNeill for the 90-day sentence but said a substantially longer sentence could have been handed down. He acknowledged alcohol appeared to be a major factor in the offence but pointed out it is well known that alcohol impairs judgment so MacDonald knowingly took that risk. He added a positive pre-sentence report and the lack of a previous criminal record counted in MacDonald’s favour.