A 26-year-old man has been jailed for biting the cheek of his infant son.
Colby Doherty received a 60-day sentence after pleading guilty to assault on Monday in Campbell River provincial court. A second assault charge was dropped by the Crown in exchange for the guilty plea.
“Your son is likely going to be quite frightened of you when you see him again,” said B.C. Associate Chief Judge Michael Brecknell who presided over the case.
However, that won’t happen for some time as Doherty is bound by a two-year probation order that prevents him from seeing his son. He can though make an application through the court to re-establish contact with the boy.
According to Crown prosecutor David Fitzsimmons, on Feb. 7, around 2:30 p.m., Campbell River RCMP received a 911 call from the boy’s mother.
When police arrived at the residence, they were able to see the impression of a bite mark on the cheek of the seven-month-old boy. Fitzsimmons noted that the baby’s skin was not broken by the bite.
Doherty co-operated with police and was taken into custody. He has been in a Victoria jail cell since his arrest.
According to the defence, Doherty was under heavy stress because he had just lost his job and was unable to pay the rent. Money was so tight that Doherty had to pawn some belongings in order to pay for food and diapers.
In addition, two days earlier, Doherty had started taken a drug to combat bi-polar disorder and depression. Doherty’s lawyer told the court these weren’t excuses, but an explanation for what was happening in the household.
On the day in question, Doherty and his girlfriend argued about their lack of money when the baby started “screaming and crying.” That’s when Doherty yelled, “Stop being a pussy,” and bit the baby’s cheek.
The woman didn’t actually see Doherty bite the boy, but did see the red mark and called police.
Through his lawyer, Doherty accepted responsibility and acknowledged that his girlfriend and son are “paying the penalty” for his crime. He indicated he is willing to take any counselling recommended and has already started seeing a psychologist.
Judge Brecknell accepted the joint submission from the Crown and defence counsels in handing Doherty a 60-day jail sentence. Doherty did receive a two-week credit for time already served.
Following his release, Doherty is bound by a two-year probation order during which time he cannot consume any alcohol. He can meet with the child’s mother in a public place, but cannot visit his son unless he receives permission from the court.
Doherty intends to reside with his father on Quadra Island following his release and wants to go back to college to complete a forestry course.
He was also ordered to take counselling for anger management, substance abuse and parenting. This was his third conviction for assault.