Sex offender avoids jail for two assaults

A young man considered an untreated sex offender will serve a jail sentence in the community after pleading guilty to assaulting two police officers.

Clifford Brown, 19, was given a “challenge” by Judge Ted Gouge to either accept a short jail sentence or serve a lengthier sentence in the community.

“I’m going to offer you an opportunity to see if you can do it,” the judge told Brown on Monday in Campbell River provincial court.

Brown appeared by video from cells in Victoria and accepted the 14-month community sentence order.

“I’m an alcoholic and the first step is admitting I have a problem,” he said. “I do believe I can stay away from alcohol.”

Brown intends to live at his grandmother’s home in Willow Point. He told the judge his grandmother is strict, does not allow alcohol or drugs, and helped his mother stay clean for an extended period prior to her death.

Brown’s father died when he was 10 years old and his mother – a long-time drug addict – passed away two years later.

From there, Brown bounced around foster homes, none of which he liked and that led to further problems.

“He’s always been a troubled child,” his lawyer, Doug Marion, told the court.

Marion added that what Brown requires is a stable home and that’s not something he’s been able to find while trying to reside in the Salvation Army shelter. He said the grandmother’s home would be suitable.

“She knows what she’s getting into,” Marion assured the judge.

Brown was on a one-year probation order and was supposed to be residing in the Evergreen Shelter as well as abiding by a curfew. Police checked several times in August and September to see if he was following the court orders, but he wasn’t at the shelter.

Then, on Oct. 26, RCMP were called to a disturbance at a 4th Avenue apartment. Officers spotted Brown in the apartment, who was wanted on warrant for breaching probation, but he took off towards the balcony.

Brown hopped from balcony to balcony before reaching the ground and then took off on foot. But the two officers caught up with Brown and were able to subdue him.

However, at the RCMP detachment, Brown told the officers he was a “tough guy” and tried to hip check one of them into the wall. Then, as he was entering a jail cell, Brown punched one of the officer’s in the nose, drawing blood, and threatened the other constable.

“I got your partner and I’ll get you,” Brown yelled, according to Crown prosecutor Adrienne Venturini who read from the police report.

Venturini called the report an abbreviated account of the assault and said the 5’9”, 230-pound Brown poses an imposing figure. As well, he has a history of violence with police.

Venturini also told the court that Brown was convicted of sexually assaulting a nine-year-old and has yet to complete treatment programs and has not received “ongoing, meaningful counselling.”

She asked the court to impose a 10-month jail sentence, but then Judge Gouge presented Brown with his option which included the warning, “If you can’t behave outside of jail, you’re going to be in jail for a long time.”

During his 14-month community sentence, Brown will be on a 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew, cannot consume alcohol or illegal drugs, cannot go into any establishment whose primary business is the sale of alcohol, cannot possess any weapons, and must take counselling as directed.



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