All Peter Andrew Scott Martin’s common-law spouse wanted was to spend time with him, but he wanted to hang out with friends, so the result was a physical altercation between the two.
Martin, 34, arrived intoxicated at his girlfriend’s Moose Jaw home on Aug. 27, 2022, around 5:50 p.m. and let himself inside, but she didn’t want to deal with him while he was drunk and attempted to avoid him, Crown prosecutor Monique Paquin said in Moose Jaw Provincial Court recently.
This avoidance angered the man, who grabbed his common-law spouse and slammed her hands against the wall, causing swelling to occur, she continued. Police later arrived and arrested Martin, who smelled of beverage alcohol, had bloodshot eyes and slurred speech.
Officers charged him with assault, assault causing bodily harm, and two breaches of probation.
“This is an offence against a domestic partner, so that’s certainly an aggravating factor,” Paquin said, adding Martin has a criminal record with two assault convictions.
As part of a joint submission, Martin pleaded guilty to common assault and received a four-month conditional sentence order (CSO) — jail in the community, also known as house arrest — followed by 12 months of probation.
He must follow several conditions, such as keeping the peace and being of good behaviour, taking inpatient or outpatient treatment, taking anger management classes, and taking a domestic violence program. Meanwhile, he can have contact with his spouse.
Defence lawyer Estes Fonkalsrud provided more details about the couple’s scuffle. He noted that both were “going back and forth” in the fight, which left Martin with a black eye. Martin was initially going to argue that his actions were in self-defence, but he abandoned that approach and acknowledged that grabbing her hands constituted an assault.
“He was supposed to spend time with the victim that day. He had gone out with individuals. He’d been consuming alcohol and she had asked that he not come to the residence when she learned he was intoxicated,” Fonkalsrud said, noting Martin went there to pick up his Xbox.
“I’m certainly not blaming the victim. She was upset because of his drinking.”
Martin’s girlfriend says if he quit his drinking, he would be more productive and their relationship would be in better shape, the defence lawyer continued. They have never fought when he is sober; she does not fear him, so she wants the no-contact clause lifted.
Martin admits that he has a drinking problem and wants to repair the relationship. He has taken steps to become healthy by attending Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) programming and other programs and has abstained from alcohol for almost seven months.
“If he can follow through (on his sobriety) and not drink, the relationship can flourish,” added Fonkalsrud.
Martin told Judge Brian Hendrickson that he plans to continue with his programming.
“It’s (the drinking) caused me a lot of problems in my past. I just want to move forward,” he said.
The judge accepted the joint submission, commended Martin for his seven months of sobriety, and imposed a victim surcharge of $100.