A visiting judge has ignored a sentencing recommendation by a Crown prosecutor and sentenced a Tuktoyaktuk man to 17 months in jail for assault causing bodily harm and uttering death threats against the RCMP officers who arrested him and their families.
Deputy Judge R. Michel Bourassa gave Allen Jacobsen, 36, almost double the ten months that the Crown had asked for.
Jacobsen pleaded guilty to attacking a woman in her own Tuktoyaktuk home in June.
Court heard that Jacobson hit and choked the woman and dragged her across a floor before throwing her down a flight of stairs.
Her injuries were not described in court nor did she file a victim impact statement as she has the right to.
Jacobson was under a court order at the time not to have contact with the victim.
He has at least one previous conviction for assaulting her.
Bourassa, who lives in B.C., described the proposed sentence as grossly inadequate, calling the attack vicious and unprovoked.
He added that there is no more serious a threat than when someone says they are going to go after a police officer’s family.
The judge refused to put Jacobson on probation after his sentence is served saying that previous probation orders against Jacobson have not moderated his criminal behaviour.
Bourassa noted that Jacobson has at least 45 prior convictions, including assault and threatening, and has been in and out of jail regularly over the past 17 years.
“This man is serving a life sentence on the installment plan,” the judge said in court.
Bourassa was not unsympathetic towards Jacobson’s upbringing which his lawyer described as full of violence and tragedy but said that it is up to Jacobson to end the cycle of violence, if not for him then at least for the sake of his young daughter.
He added that can only happen for Jacobson if he abstains from drugs and alcohol.
Bourassa also prohibited him from possessing a firearm within Tuk community limits for the next six years.
He allowed Jacobson to use a firearm for hunting purposes only but must borrow the firearm, not own it.
Taking into account his pre-trial custody, Jacobson will have about 14 and a half months left to serve.
He showed little reaction upon being being sentenced,
Judges from outside the NWT are used in court in the territory when local judges are unavailable.