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Drunken man's attack on ex 'demeaning and degrading' - Crown

His lawyer points to 'moonshine' as an issue
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William Vintinner was so liquored up on "moonshine" that he has no recollection of how he ended up at the jail last month, his lawyer said Tuesday.

"He doesn't dispute the facts, he just doesn't remember them," Jennifer Tremblay-Hall said, after to her client pleaded guilty to four charges stemming from his actions on June 17

The 28-year-old was convicted of assaulting his former girlfriend, resisting a city police officer, mischief for breaking windows at a bar and breach of probation.

Ontario Court Justice Romuald Kwolek heard officers arrived at an address shortly after 9 p.m. to find a vehicle on fire.

They learned Vintinner had been at his ex's residence, but she was not at home.

A person, who lived upstairs, called 911 about a car hitting the fence and then "it was on fire."

"It's not known how the fire started," prosecutor Trent Wilson said, but the accused was "extremely agitated" because it was his mother's vehicle.

Officers learned Vintinner had been at a bar where the former girlfriend worked, prior to that.

"He slapped her on the back of the head and damaged the windows on his way out" of the establishment, the assistant Crown attorney said.

At 9:10 p.m., when police tried to arrest him, he resisted, rolling around in the back of the cruiser, kicking the door and window.

Wilson called for a six-month jail term, plus probation, while the defence argued that four months, less pre-sentence custody, was appropriate.

Vintinner's vice is alcohol, not drugs, his lawyer told the court.

"Unfortunately, he's a demon when he drinks," said Tremblay-Hall. "He was drinking moonshine on that date and he goes crazy when he has moonshine."

The defence said her client realizes that he can't drink or be involved in this toxic relationship with the woman.

Vintinner was able to maintain sobriety for a lengthy period of time (2010 to 2016), and got a job, but fell off the wagon in the past two and half years, Tremblay-Hall said.

"He has shown he is capable of rehabilitation," she said, adding when he gets out of jail, her client intends to get back into treatment and relocate to a different community.

She told Kwolek that the accused was so intoxicated that he doesn't recall going to the jail, where he later discovered he had bruised ribs and other marks on his body.

Wilson called the background domestic circumstances troubling.

Vintinner committed "a demeaning and degrading act," when he assaulted the woman at work, he said.

The Crown asked the court to also impose a firearm ban "given his inability to control himself while drinking."

"I did wrong," Vintinner told Kwolek. "Alcohol changes me. There's nothing else I can say."

Noting the accused was "heavily under the influence" when he committed the offences, Kwolek cited the domestic violence and probation breach as aggravating factors.

He sentenced Vintinner to four and a half months jail, and placed him on probation for two years.

During his probation, the accused must undergo counselling for substance abuse and do 40 hours of community service.

"If you don't deal with your alcohol problem you will just be back in trouble," Kwolek warned him.

The judge also ordered that he not be under the influence of alcohol or other substances during the first year of the probation order.

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About the Author: Linda Richardson

Linda Richardson is a freelance journalist who has been covering Sault Ste. Marie's courts and other local news for more than 35 years.
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