Judge concerned with ongoing dispute
Victor Kenneth Arbeau, 54, was in court on June 27th to be sentenced for an assault. He was convicted after a trial. Arbeau lives on Wellington Street and admits an ongoing conflict with his neighbours that has spanned several years.
Early one morning Mr. Arbeau's neighbour, Mr. S, placed a rock on his property which Arbeau felt was intentionally provocative. Mr. S testified he was moving the rock off the road because it was a hazard.
Arbeau is later seen on a video from a neighbour’s property video heaving the rock at his nieghbour across the street. There were motorists that saw the interaction that included kicks and punches and they called the police.
Arbeau argued the actions were in self-defence, but Judge Michaud carefully watched the videos and ruled that not all of Arbeau’s actions were in self-defence, and found him guilty.
Arbeau is a self-employed landscaping contractor and asked for a lenient sentence so that his livelihood would not be affected. He said he has had to take time off already to deal with the charges and going to jail would harm his current contracts for work and jeopardize future work.
The Crown noted that Arbeau had some dated offences on his records for assault and threats for which he received a suspended sentence. The Crown asked for 60 days in jail.
Judge Michaud said the prior record was somewhat aggravating, but acknowledged the prior offences were over 20 years ago. Michaud also mentioned the ongoing issues between the neighbours and feels the unresolved issues that have been going on for several years to be aggravating as well, and the aggression has to come to a stop. If Arbeau is not willing to end it himself, then the court will have to place some restrictions that will help end the aggression. Michaud said no jail would be needed, but Arbeau had one foot in jail if something else ever happens.
The sentence of the court was a fine of $1300. Arbeau will also be on probation for 12 months and he must keep the peace and be of good behaviour, abstain from communication with the neighbours in question and their children, report to probation within 2 days and attend and complete an anger management program. Though it was not required, the Mr. S's wife attended the sentencing.
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