Windsor man makes call to victim from jail

A 2014 Christmas gathering that led to the end of a couple’s relationship put a Windsor man on a year’s probation for assault.

Robert J. Sandwith, 33, had previously been convicted following a trial of the December 2014 assault and a contact ban violation in Lambton Shores, but sentencing had been delayed until Friday.

On Dec. 19, 2014 the couple had been living in Lambton Shores and the woman’s father was coming for a visit.

During the evening, the intoxicated Sandwith had pushed the woman after angrily confronting her.

In convicting Sandwith, Justice Mark Hornblower had called it a minor assault but he did not accept Sandwith’s testimony that the woman was intoxicated and had assaulted him.

While in custody on the assault charge, Sandwith called the woman from jail.

At the time of the offences Sandwith had been using drugs and alcohol to cope with a mental illness, said defence lawyer Patricia Brown, who sought a discharge that would leave Sandwith without a criminal record for assault.

Since being charged, Sandwith started mental health and substance abuse treatment and has completed a residential treatment program.

It has been an interesting but shameful year, but through his recovery and 14 months of sobriety he has seen the light, said Sandwith.

It was domestic violence, said assistant Crown attorney Aniko Coughlan, in support of a 30-day jail sentence.

There was a considerable amount of drinking going on and the “somewhat out-of-character” offence was fueled by over-consumption, said Hornblower, who had reviewed a pre-sentence report.

Sandwith had served the equivalent of eight days in pre-sentence custody and that time was imposed as the sentence for the contact-ban violation.

The woman wants no contact with Sandwith, the court was told.

A year’s probation was imposed for the assault when Sandwith must stay away from drugs, alcohol and the woman while taking domestic violence counseling.