Bad Beat: Senator Patrick Brazeau avoids jail time, criminal record

Sen. Patrick Brazeau leaves the courthouse in Gatineau, Quebec October 28, 2015.
Sen. Patrick Brazeau leaves the courthouse after receiving an absolute discharge in Gatineau, Quebec October 28, 2015. REUTERS/Chris Wattie

Who says Canadian politics is boring?

Senator Patrick Brazeau, who pleaded guilty to assault and possession of cocaine charges was given a conditional discharge this week. This means he won’t be going to jail and he won’t have a criminal record. 

A conditional discharge is a sentence where the accused is not punished but is required to abide by a set of court-ordered conditions. If the conditions are complied with, the discharge becomes absolute. 

Brazeau was also charged with sexual assault but the Crown dropped it because there wasn’t enough evidence available to sustain the charge. 

The Crown and Brazeau’s lawyer jointly presented the conditional discharge sentence to the court. It was accepted by the Quebec judge. 

The judge cited to a Supreme Court decision that highlighted how an accused`s public position can create extra scrutiny and shame. The judge also pointed out mitigating factors including Brazeau having had to live under the cloud of a sexual assault charge for several months. 

Brazeau is due back in court later this month for criminal fraud and breach of trust charges in connection to his Senate living expenses similarly to Mike Duffy. 

Peterborough man charged with making bomb threats 

Bomb threats are no fun. They are especially no fun if they interrupt a much-needed Wal-Mart run. Andrew Wells-Scott, a 20-year old man from Peterborough, Ont., has been charged with making bomb threats to a Wal-Mart all the way in Pennsylvania on two separate occasions in September and October of this year. 

The store had to evacuate all customers each time. Police in Pennsylvania worked with the FBI and Ontario Provincial Police on this investigation. The OPP says they have not yet found a connection between the suspect and this particular store. 

Conveying a false message is an offence and is punishable by up to two years in jail. 

Calgary thieves stealing cars by thinking outside the box 

The general perception toward drop boxes is that they’re safe and secure and a great way to drop vehicles after hours and on holidays. Well, not so much. 

Calgary has seen a dramatic increase in car thefts because owners have left their keys in seemingly secure drop boxes. The vehicles have been stolen from car dealerships, from storage companies, and from mechanics by simply breaking into the drop box. 

One couple parked their 2014 Chevy SUV at a dealership lot for repairs and dropped the keys into the drop box only to find out days later there was no record of their vehicle. The car was gone. Needless to say, they’re not happy with the standard of care the dealership displayed with their drop box. 
Calgary police are asking dealerships to make their drop boxes secure enough so they can’t be fished out with something like a hook. 
Next time you see a drop box, inspect it first. Better yet, ignore the box, and give your key to the staff.

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