The following cases may be of assistance to counsel when advocating for a conditional discharge for a parent facing a sentencing hearing for the use of unlawful discipline:

R. v. F.J.H., [2017] B.C.J. No. 197 (S.C.) – The offender entered a guilty plea for a charge of assault with a weapon for striking his 13-year-old daughter once in the leg with a belt. On appeal, Meiklem, J. granted the offender a conditional discharge with probation for six months.

R. v. T.F., [2016] B.C.J. No. 129 (P.C.) [trial decision only - sentencing decision reported in associated media coverage] – A father and mother were convicted for assault with a weapon for striking their 14-year-old daughter on the buttocks with a plastic mini-hockey stick and a skipping rope after the daughter sent nude pictures of herself to her boyfriend. The judge granted the offenders a conditional discharge with probation for twelve months. 

R. v. J.B., [2015] N.J. No. 312 (P.C.) – The 32-year-old offender assaulted his six-year-old stepdaughter by grabbing her by her upper arms, lifting her off the floor, and slamming her against a wall. The offender plead guilty and sought counseling. The judge granted the offender a conditional discharge with probation for twelve months. 

R. v. V.P. , [2014] O.J. No. 4152 (C.J.) – The offender assaulted her 10-year-old son by striking him in the nose. She had a prior finding of guilt for assaulting another family member. The judge granted the offender a conditional discharge with probation for two years. 

R. v. D.W., [2014] B.C.J. No. 822 (P.C.) – The offender assaulted his 11-year-old daughter on two occasions out of a “misguided attempt…to administer discipline…” (para. 6). On the first occasion, he slapped her face twice with an open hand and then struck her with a belt once on clothed buttocks. On the second occasion he struck her two times with a belt on her clothed buttocks. The judge granted the offender a conditional discharge with probation for fourteen months.  

R. v. C.J.D., [2012] Y.J. No. 21 (T.C.) – The 26-year-old offender assaulted his 30-month-old stepson. Frustrated with the young child’s crying, the offender spanked the victim, lifted him up and dropped him on the bed, and covered his mouth. He entered a guilty plea and sought counseling subsequent to the incident. The judge granted the offender a condition discharge with probation for twelve months. 

R. v. Prosper, [2012] N.J. No. 321 (P.C.) – The 30-year-old offender struck her 4-year-old daughter out of frustration. The judge granted the offender a conditional discharge with probation for twelve months. 

R. v. J.F.C., [2006] N.S.J. No. 37 (S.C.) – Crown appeal against sentence for a charge of assault with a weapon dismissed. The offender struck his 8-year-old son repeatedly (“ten to twelve times”) with “what was probably a broom handle” (para. 4). The judge granted the offender a conditional discharge.

R. v. Brown, [2005] Nu. J. No. 13 (C.J.) – The offender hit her pre-teen foster child on more than one occasion out of frustration with the child’s lying. The victim’s glasses were broken and the offender was not forthcoming with respect to the number of assaults. The judge granted the offender a conditional discharge and placed her on probation for six months. 

R. v. Bielenik, [1999] O.J. No. 4104 (C.J.) – The 34-year-old offender, upset with his 12-year-old daughter’s repeated lying, strapped her with a belt three times on her thighs and forearm “more out of anger and frustration than out of a considered controlled form of discipline” (para. 65). The family had engaged in counseling subsequent to the incident. The judge granted the offender an absolute discharge.

 

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