A Lambton man will be able to serve his custody at home despite leaving a trail of chaos in his wake.
Christopher Oliver, 29, is no stranger to the court system with multiple prior convictions. He appeared in Sarnia Court Nov. 5 pleading to a new string of five charges occurring over 14 months.
They began early in the morning Jan. 25, 2020 when Anishinabek Police were called to the Army Camp over a disturbance at the Medicine Of The Earth cannabis store. They found Oliver stumbling along Lakeshore Road shirtless and bleeding.
Police learned Oliver, who was heavily intoxicated, was confronted by his brother over a property damage accusation. When police went to the house they found all the front windows smashed and Oliver’s sweater.
Police arrested Oliver, which was preferable to the alternative. The homeowner said Oliver would “be leaving in a body bag” if he came back.
Three months later Oliver had a pair of female friends at his Sarnia apartment when an argument began with one of them. He smacked a laptop out of her hands and punched her in the face before punching the other woman too. When police arrived at the Colborne Road address he faked a headbutt at them and had to be carried to the cruiser.
Oliver’s life settled for awhile but Christmas Eve police were called back to the Army Camp over another disturbance at the cannabis store. Once again they found Oliver heavily intoxicated and agitated.
A struggle ensued when officers tried to place Oliver under arrest. They eventually got him in the cruiser but he’d defecated himself in the process and made a mess in the back. He did the same to the inside of a cell back at the police station.
A restitution order of $632 to the Anishinabek Police was ordered to pay for the cleanup.
Oliver’s final offence was March this year when an on-again/off-again partner visited his Sarnia home. The mood turned sour and the victim left but Oliver followed her outside yelling obscenities at her. He then slapped her in the face, prompting another call to police and another arrest.
“It’s quite obvious from the report there’s a serious alcohol problem here and some mental health issues,” says Defence Lawyer Robert McFadden. But he says his client has been doing better since leaving Sarnia and moving in with his parents.
He’s been sober since then and with reflection is “quite embarrassed about his conduct,” says McFadden.
A joint submission between McFadden and Crown Attorney Aniko Coughlan for a 90 day conditional sentence was proposed. The first half will be house arrest followed by 45 days of curfew. Oliver must stay away from the three women he assaulted and the man whose windows he broke.
He’ll also take counselling for substance abuse, anger management and domestic violence and be on probation for a year after his sentence ends.
“Obviously the combination of these offences could justify a period of actual jail, but this court recognizes… your acceptance of responsibility, the efforts that you have made in the last number of months toward your sobriety and the success you’ve had with that,” says Justice Deborah Austin while accepting the proposal.
Alex Kurial, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Independent