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Violent attacks on girlfriend gets Kelowna man locked up

Saturday, February 20th, 2010 | 4:00 pm

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By Joe Fries

Two violent attacks on his former girlfriend that left her with a concussion and left her home in shambles earned a Kelowna man 18 months in jail.

Kelowna provincial court judge Ellen Burdett on Friday described the actions of 32-year-old Brent Russell as “inexcusable,” and said they required the “strongest condemnation.”

Russell, who appeared by videoconference from Kamloops Regional Correctional Centre, carried with him a lengthy criminal record that included a 2001 conviction from Calgary on charges that resulted when he shot a drug dealer in the knee. He got five years in prison for that offence.

On Friday, he pleaded guilty to a pair of assault charges, mischief, being unlawfully in a dwelling house, and three breaches of a court order.

Court heard that on May 31, 2009, Russell was drinking with his brother at the home he shared with his victim. When she arrived, she soon became the target of abuse. Court heard that Russell – who also attacked his brother that day – began by teasing and bullying her, then spat on her, pushed her around, and finally sent her down a flight of 14 stairs, resulting in soft-tissue injuries

Following his arrest and release on bail, Russell then went to the woman’s apartment on Dec. 23 in contravention of his bail conditions, and began throwing things and yelling. He apparently left and re-appeared several times. He again spat on the victim, broke a sliding glass door and a table when he pushed the woman into it, resulting in her concussion. Russell was arrested the next day and has been in custody since.

“The facts are serious,” Burdett said, noting that children were present during each attack. The judge also heard that Russell, a father of two with a different woman, struggles with cocaine and alcohol abuse.

Defence counsel Andrew Vandersluys said his client is “a decent fellow when he’s sober.”

Russell, whose mother attended court along with her son’s former employer and a friend, apologized to the court and all those involved, and said his focus now is on his kids, sobriety and work.

Burdett handed down a total sentence of 18 months’ imprisonment, less double credit of 132 days’ time served. Once out, Russell will be subject to a 12-month probation order that bans him from using alcohol or drugs and prohibits contact with the victim and his own brother.

Reading from a victim impact statement, the judge said Russell’s former girlfriend is “terrified” of him, suffers from anxiety, nightmares and headaches, and wants to by a new car so he can’t find her.

joe@kelowna.com
250-575-4303

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3 Responses to “Violent attacks on girlfriend gets Kelowna man locked up”

  1. Fred says:
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    That’s it, 18 months? We see this all too often where these guys are beating on wives and girlfriends and they
    get little of nothing. How about five years and five years
    probation after that

  2. Rod says:
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    What a joke.. His defence lawyer says he’s a decent fellow. Maybe they can both hang out together..

    Ridiculous .. who buys that ???

  3. CatherineCC says:
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    Disgusting.

    Meanwhile, someone growing pot gets 15. Not that either of those sentences are correct, it’s just unbelievable that in the eyes of our legal system, the two crimes are effectively the same.

    That’s right… someone – with a prior conviction for shooting someone – committing multiple assaults on a domestic partner including one while on bail is the same as running a grow up.

    Keep up the great work Judge Ellen!!

    Please continue discussion on the forum: link

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