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Restorative justice applied to P.E.I. domestic assault case involving Aboriginal offender


A provincial court judge told a P.E.I. man who pleaded guilty to assaulting his girlfriend that he needs counselling to deal with his personal struggles.

“You have to do your best to stay off drugs and alcohol,” Judge John Douglas also advised Lawrence Peters.

Peters, who is currently serving a six-month sentence for impaired driving, pleaded guilty to assaulting his girlfriend in Charlottetown on Aug. 9.

Douglas delivered a suspended sentence and imposed 12 months’ probation with conditions to keep the peace and good behaviour, participate in a healing circle and meet with the Abegweit Wellness Centre to address mental health issues.

Peters was described as a good worker and a “nice guy’’ when clean and sober.

In determining his sentence, Douglas reviewed a Gladue report, which is a specialized type of pre-sentence report for Aboriginal offenders. Special cultural considerations are taken into account by the judge in assessing the case.

As an Aboriginal offender, a restorative justice process can be chosen to focus on healing those affected by a criminal act. A restorative justice approach will often, as in this case, allow for a solution with no jail time.

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