A hockey coach who tripped up two young Richmond players during a post-game handshake should face house arrest, a court heard Thursday.
Martin Tremblay admitted assaulting the two Richmond Steel players following a heated spring hockey gold medal game at the UBC Thunderbird Arena last June.
At his sentencing hearing in Richmond Provincial Court, Crown prosecutor Gerry-Lyn Nelson said Tremblay abused his position of trust, lost control and deliberately tripped up the players, aged nine and 13 at the time.
The older boy had a cast on a suspected broken wrist, which later turned out not to be as serious as first thought.
A YouTube video of the incident went viral on the Internet, attracting 2.5 million hits.
As a result of the assault, Tremblay deserves to spend at least 30 days under house arrest, as well as a series of probation conditions, Nelson told Judge Patrick Chen.
Tremblay's defence is opposing the house arrest. "This was not about hockey," Nelson said.
"This is about the assault of an adult on a child. It just happened to be on a hockey rink.
"Parents take their kids to the rink and have to feel they're safe and not going to be harmed at the hands of someone in a supervisory role."
The court heard how, in an attempt to "put the 13-year-old player off his game," Tremblay called the boy "Tinkerbell," and "shitface," to which the boy replied with his own insults and rude gestures.
It was also revealed in court that Tremblay was under a year-long probation for a work-related assault against an adult at the time.
Tremblay later told a psychiatrist afterwards that his emotions "weren't under control" during the game.
Tremblay's lawyer, Bob Bellows, said it was a one-time incident for which Tremblay was "extremely regretful."
Bellows said Tremblay had quit taking his medications for anxiety and depression at the time of the incident and has had problems with alcohol in the past.
"He should not have been coaching," said Bellows. "The notoriety of this case has been huge. There have been 2.5 million hits on YouTube."
The sentence hearing continues.
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