One punch could land Leamington man in jail
WINDSOR, ONT. -- A sentencing hearing is underway in Windsor Superior court for a Leamington man.
David Penner, 27, was convicted of aggravated assault for an incident at a Kingsville bar in 2017.
Penner’s defence lawyer Dan Scott told the court “it’s a one punch situation that is totally out of character.”
On May 14, 2017, Penner punched the victim after he was “chirping” him and making fun of Penner’s Mennonite heritage.
The victim suffered a head injury and still struggles with short-term memory loss.
However, at trial, evidence was heard from the manager of the bar that the victim was “a heavy drinker” who was “somewhat intoxicated” that evening.
Witnesses testified the victim was in Penner’s personal space, mocked his clothing and appeared to threaten to use a bottle to attack Penner.
Because Penner is a long-haul truck driver for a Manitoba company, is a first-time offender and accepts responsibility for what happened, Scott is asking for a suspended sentence of three years probation.
Penner isn’t able to cross the border for work and an intermittent jail sentence would further restrict his ability to work.
Penner also has a four-month old child and is engaged to the child’s mother.
Crown Attorney Nicole Lamphier is asking for 18 months in jail for Penner, plus three years on probation.
She concedes the victim did “goad” Penner that night, but his reaction was an “unsuspected attack” as the victim was taken by surprise and didn’t have a chance to defend himself
The victims injuries, Lamphier argues were absolutely life-changing and the incident impacted his entire family.
The victim, she says, had aspirations to be a police officer or firefighter but his traumatic brain injury has dashed their hopes.
Penner then stood before the court to apologize.
“I wish (the victim)was here for a face to face apology. But to his family that is here, I hope they can forgive me, eventually.”
Penner says he feels horrible for what happened before turning to Justice Pamela Hebner and saying “I wish you could give me a chance to stay out of jail. My son needs me.”
Court heard Penner has a four-month-old son and is engaged to be married.
Justice Hebner says she needs some time to consider her decision and will have Penner’s sentence ready on March 25.