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Assault conviction nets year of house arrest

PICTOU A 26-year-old Stellarton man was sentenced to a year of house arrest for a count of assault causing bodily harm.

John Alexander Spears was in Pictou provincial court on Thursday after his sentencing was adjourned last week to allow defence and the Crown to review a victim impact statement.

On May 10, the court heard Spears assaulted Thomas Smith on April 25, 2016, in Stellarton after Smith confronted Spears over a $20 bill missing from Smith’s vehicle. Smith suffered a broken nose and cheekbone fractures.

Crown attorney Patrick Young noted Spears has no criminal record and suffers from anxiety and depression.

It was noted Smith suffered not only physically, but was emotionally and socially impacted as well.

Spears spoke to the court, apologizing for his actions. He also stated he agrees to pay for any expenses resulting from the assault.

While sentencing Spears, Judge Del Atwood told him his sentence has a beginning and end, while the assault is going to be a part of Smith’s life for a long time.

He also noted many assaults result in fatal injuries, and said it could have ended even worse for Smith.

Spears was given an 18-month conditional sentence order with 12 months of probation.

He was also ordered to pay restitution of $988.97 within a year.

One of his conditions is to not have alcohol in his body outside of his residence and to participate in anger management counselling, or any other counselling or programming, as directed by his supervisor. He is also ordered to have no contact with Smith.

Spears noted he has written an apology for Smith, with Atwood telling him Spears could speak to his supervisor about that. Atwood said he wouldn't force Spears’ apology on Smith and told Spears he can’t offer it himself. 

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