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Three domestic violence convictions in a year

Convicted of assaulting his common-law wife for the third time in the past year, the judge wanted to give Barnabus Howard more jail time.

After hearing about the drunken beatings, Judge Thomas Dohm said the 53-year-old Gold River man deserved a further six months behind bars.

However, the judge said he would “go along” with the joint submission presented by the Crown and defence lawyers for three more months.

“The purpose of sentencing is to protect Ms. Mark,” Judge Dohm said on Feb. 17.

Howard and Teresa Mark were living in a Gold River apartment visited often by Nootka Sound RCMP. Their relationship involved heavy drinking which led to violence.

The latest incident occurred Jan. 10. When Mounties arrived they found the couple’s apartment in utter disarray as if someone had trashed the place.

Mark appeared at the door covered in blood, Howard was also inside and both were heavily intoxicated.

Mark had been punched several times in the face and as Howard was being arrested he slurred, “Where’s your witness?”

According to defence lawyer James Hormoth, Howard is an accomplished chef who used to work in Vancouver, but started drinking after splitting up with his wife in 2010. Howard also volunteers at the literacy association in Gold River, but it’s his troubles with alcohol and Mark that keep leading him back to jail.

Judge Dohm accepted the three-month sentence, but declined to give Howard credit for time served. Howard will also be on probation for one year during which time he’s bound by an 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. curfew, cannot consume alcohol and cannot have any contact with Mark.

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