A man will spend just over two-and-a-half more years in jail for threatening his wife, discharging a shotgun in his home and breaking into an elementary school.
Yvon Martel underwent trial in Penticton’s provincial courts over the summer over the string of incidents that occurred on Dec. 11, 2016, but only received sentencing Thursday afternoon.
Martel received a global sentence of four years nine months, including a four-year sentence for discharging the shotgun in the house. A nine-month sentence for the break-and-enter and 90-day sentence for uttering threats against his wife will be served concurrently with the four-year sentence.
Judge Meg Shaw said she would have opted for a lesser sentence for discharging the shotgun, but she was bound by a four-year minimum for that charge.
“Mr. Martel did not ever point the gun at anyone, including his wife,” she said.
“Considering all of the evidence, including the mitigating and aggravating factors, the principles of sentencing, the concept of proportionality, without considering the minimum sentence, I would have sentence Mr. Martel to jail for count four.”
Martel was found guilty of the charges over the summer, after a trial that heard Martel and his wife had gotten into a domestic dispute at their residence in December last year.
After losing his job, Martel became depressed and resorted to drinking, while his wife returned to work to pay the bills and rented out a room in the house.
Those issues ignited the volatile Martel when the couple got into a fight on Dec. 11. Following the fight, his wife went to bed.
After waking up, his wife told the court she had gone to Martel’s TV room, where he was sitting with his shotgun. The two began arguing again, and his wife went to the living room, but Martel followed and the argument continued.
After she threatened to call the police, Martel lifted the shotgun, pointing it at their phone, and fired. The shot blew apart the phone, also causing damage to the TV and wall.
She ran from the house for blocks, before returning, expecting to find police after the loud shotgun blast. But police had apparently not been called and Martel was no longer home when she returned.
He was later found inside École Entre Lacs elementary school, where he had broken in. He told a security guard to leave because he had a 12-gauge shotgun.
Penticton RCMP was called to the scene, where officers found the shotgun up against a wall in the school and a co-operative Martel.
Among the aggravating factors, Shaw pointed to the dangers Martel put his wife and neighbours in for shooting his shotgun inside the house. Domestic violence is an automatic aggravating factor, as well.
Although Martel took the shotgun into the school, she noted it was out of his reach when police arrived and it was in the early hours on a Sunday, when children would not have attended the school.
“Mr. Martel’s criminal record was very dated. I noted that there were two offences which were related — a break-and-enter and an assault,” Shaw said.
She also took into account the fact that he had ceased his criminal actions after breaking into the school.
In sentencing, Shaw said the major considerations were deterrence and denunciation, adding that rehabilitation should be considered, as well, due to his struggles with depression and alcohol abuse.
In sentencing Martel to four years, she docked 522 days in enhanced credit for time served, cutting nearly a year-and-a-half off of his sentence going forward.