Inuvik man sentenced for slapping shelter worker on buttocks

A homeless man from Inuvik with a lengthy criminal record has received a seven month jail sentence after he pleaded guilty to a number of offences including assault on a warming shelter worker.

51-year-old Richard Selamio says he does not remember slapping the female shelter worker on the buttocks in October of last year due to his alcohol intoxication at the time.

He also pleaded guilty to being in a dwelling unlawfully last March – an Inuvik apartment building that he had been previously warned to stay out of.

Selamio was also convicted of loitering at night and two counts of failure to attend court.

In court in Yellowknife Monday, his lawyer pointed out the difficulties for a homeless person in Inuvik and said that Selamio was only in the apartment building to seek warmth and shelter.

Alahna Vogt told the judge that her client is a chronic alcoholic who has suffered from trauma in his life for decades.

She says he grew up in a alcohol and violence filled home.

Vogt says Selamio is also a residential school survivor where he says he was physically and sexually abused.

The Crown prosecutor in the case pointed out that Selamio has some 90 criminal convictions on his record – most of them property related crimes and breaches of court orders.

Before he was sentenced, Selamio told the judge that he wanted to apologize to the shelter worker in person but is prevented from doing so by a court order prohibiting him from contacting her.

The worker told the Crown that she is not afraid of Selamio and it is believed he will be allowed back at the shelter once he is released from jail.

Taking into account his pre-trial custody – Selamio will have just over three months left to serve.

The judge did not give him probation or ban him from owning or possessing firearms upon his release.






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