Sudbury judge insists domestic abuser get drug treatment

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The addiction ruined the relationship, which turned into a nightmare for the ex-spouse

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Simply jailing a city man who has become his ex-wife’s nightmare will do little to help him or his victim, a Sudbury judge says.

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As a result, Judge Andrew Butazzoni ruled this week that in addition to nine months in prison, Steven Valiquette must spend 30 months on probation and complete 150 hours of community service focusing on drug addiction.

Judge Butazzoni said the extra time should be used so Valiquette could break up with his drug use. He said he was disappointed that Valiquette hadn’t started addressing his drug issues.

“Sending a young man to jail for eight months is always a difficult thing to do, but the sentence should reflect the seriousness of the offences, sending a message to other people,” he said. “The condemnation is not just you, but others, offenders who commit similar types of offences, to let them know that such offenses will involve detention.”

Buttazzoni suggested to Crown and defense attorney Jacob Gauthier that simply sentencing Valiquette to a prison term (one month already spent in custody plus an additional eight months in prison) would not be enough to solve the problems. accused’s drugs.

“He has completed his nine months,” thought the judge. “He is on probation, but he has not settled his addiction. I would be much more comfortable if you had done something since October to fix this problem. But it comforts me that since October, you haven’t reached out to the victim…

“This (case) has red flags going up all around for the victim’s safety.”

The judge then asked Valiquette, in court with his parents, if he could complete the 150 hours of community service as a condition of probation.

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Valiquette, who was in tears, said he could.

The 30-month probation order includes conditions that Valiquette must stay away from her estranged spouse, except by family court order, and that he undergo treatment for drug addiction, alcohol abuse, domestic violence, anger management, and psychiatric and psychological issues.

The 13 offenses to which Valiquette pleaded guilty included possession of a weapon while committing an indictable offense, assault, breach of recognizance, and numerous counts of breach of probation and recognizance. They performed on March 24, 2020; June 9, 2020; January 30, 2021; September 10, 2021; and October 11, 2021.

The court heard that Valiquette and the woman had been in a relationship for six years in March 2020 and had a young child together. One of the conditions of Valiquette’s probation order tied to a November 2019 parole was that he was to have no contact with the woman unless she provided him with her written, revocable consent.

The woman gave her consent in November 2019, but revoked it on March 25, 2020.

On March 27, 2020, a Children’s Aid Society worker contacted Greater Sudbury Police stating that the woman said Valiquette had been at her home for almost two hours and at some point she l chased inside as a young child was in her arms.

The woman told officers that on March 24, she confronted Valiquette about inappropriate messages on her cellphone from another woman. He then climbed on top of her, pinned her down with his arms, and locked her in the bedroom for about 20 minutes.

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One child was in the bedroom, while a second child was elsewhere in the house.

He left later.

The woman called 911, but when officers showed up she said everything was fine.

On March 25, Valiquette came home and tried to get in, but then left.

On June 9, Valiquette and the woman had a heated argument about sex. The woman tried to run away, but Valiquette blocked the door and yelled at her not to leave. Valiquette wrapped her arms around the woman’s neck as she held a child.

Valiquette then grabbed a large knife, held it to the back of her head, and threatened to kill herself.

On February 27, 2021, the woman called the police to report that Valiquette was at her home.

She said that on January 20, Valiquette knocked on her door, left, and later returned. On February 12, Valiquette showed up with his mother, who was under the impression from her son that the no-contact provision was no longer in effect.

Then, on February 24, a man was visiting the woman when Valiquette showed up to pick up her child for custody. Valiquette said if he came back later and the man was still there, he would kill him.

On September 10, the woman told police that Valiquette was texting her. Although the text didn’t say it was from Valiquette, it did say “you know who that is” and featured emojis in the former couple’s favorite colors.

On September 11, Valiquette left a birthday card on the windshield of the woman’s vehicle. The woman recognized the handwriting as Valiquette’s. CCTV showed Valiquette putting the card on the windshield.

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He also texted the woman on September 13 and 15.

On October 11, police received a call from the woman indicating that Valiquette had broken into her residence overnight. She said Valiquette gave her an ultimatum that “either she goes with him or she leaves him in a body bag.”

A five-hour argument then followed.

In his sentencing brief, Gauthier said drug use — particularly crack and speed — affected Valiquette’s behavior.

He said that although his client has yet to receive treatment, the local chapter of the Canadian Mental Health Association is assessing him and he plans to seek treatment. He said Valiquette had uncontrollable anger management and behavior issues.

“According to the victim, substance abuse was a significant factor in destroying the relationship,” the lawyer said.

Gauthier said jail time was a reasonable solution. “I hope Mr. Valiquette will use his custody time wisely and also on his probation order.

Assistant Crown Attorney Cecilia Martin said the woman’s victim impact statement showed frustration, anxiety and fear.

“She still lives in fear… She is a delinquent who must be removed from society for another nine months.”

Martin said she feared that Valiquette had started programming drug addiction yet.

“This is someone who, despite undertakings to comply with court orders, was on a lengthy probation order with conditions in place,” she said. “This is violence that occurs in the context of a domestic relationship where children were present or caught up in the violence.

“This must stop. He has stopped since his pleas were entered (in October). This must continue to be a thing of the past for (the victim) and his rehabilitation.

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Twitter: @HaroldCarmichae

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