A man who admitted to beating a woman on two occasions will serve another two months in custody — but he won't lose $25,000 for breaching his bail conditions.
On Friday, 27-year-old Connor Patterson-House appeared in Kelowna court by way of video from the Prince George Regional Correctional Centre and pleaded guilty to assault causing bodily harm, assault, and breaching a release order.
The files are labelled as “K-files,” which indicate charges involving intimate partner violence. The identity of the victim is protected by a publication ban.
The two assaults occurred about 10 months apart. Judge Clarke Burnett called the incidents “extremely egregious” and said it was “sickening” to hear the circumstances of the assaults.
The first incident that led to the assault causing bodily harm conviction occurred on a boat on Okanagan Lake. During an argument, Patterson-House dragged a woman to the back of the boat and held her head underwater for about 30 seconds, causing her to fear for her life.
He then punched her in the head 10 to 12 times, rupturing her eardrum and leaving her with permanent damage before holding her head underwater a second time. Later that same day, he smashed her head into a steering wheel and the dashboard of a vehicle as she was driving.
About 10 months later, Patterson-House struck a woman in the head again after getting into an argument in Kelowna, leading to the assault conviction.
He also pleaded guilty to breaching his release order by contacting a victim through social media and by phone, just two weeks before his trial was set to begin.
While defence counsel Michael Stevenson sought a sentence of time served for the three convictions, which worked out to 180 days with enhanced credit, Judge Burnett instead went along with the Crown's sentencing position which added another two months to Patterson-House's sentence.
He'll be under probation conditions for another 18 months following his release.
Stevenson noted Patterson-House runs a framing company in Alberta that employs 16 people. He said his client recently moved back to Alberta after his home in West Kelowna burnt down in the recent wildfire, but he's been in jail in Prince George for the past month.
Patterson-House has been in and out of custody over the past year as he regularly failed to show to his court dates. This past October, he was added to Central Okanagan CrimeStoppers' Most Wanted list.
After failing to show up to court for a fourth time back in January, he was once again granted bail in April, with a requirement that a “surety” put up $25,000 to be forfeited if he once again breached his conditions. He then breached his conditions in early September, and failed to show up to court a fifth time before he was rearrested in early November.
However, following sentencing Friday, the Crown abandoned an application seeking the full $25,000, and instead sought the forfeiture of a $5,000 deposit that Patterson-House had put up for a previous bail release.
There was some discussion in court about whether the Crown can now seek the forfeiture of the $5,000 amount after that bail order was replaced by the $25,000 surety bail order. The issue was not sorted out on Friday.