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Victoria man who assaulted clinic manager rewarded for his good behaviour

Jan 21 2012

A mentally-ill Victoria man convicted of assault using a weapon against the manager of the Cool Aid Dental Clinic has received a suspended sentence as a reward for good behaviour.

On Friday, Sean Michael Kelly, who lives at the Salvation Army, was placed on 12 months probation with conditions that included a curfew.

“When I heard the trial and convicted you, I was pretty sure you were going to get jail,” said Victoria provincial court Judge Evan Blake. “The fact that you are not is something you can thank yourself for. I’m really glad to see you have made progress since last summer.”

During the half-day trial in November, dental clinic manager Sydney Adair testified that an agitated and angry Kelly arrived at the clinic on June 16 last year, just before it closed for lunch and demanded immediate dental care. Kelly was at the desk, asking the receptionist for a topical anaesthetic to numb the pain in his mouth. Adair told him to come back in one hour.

Kelly was angry, yelling and red in the face, Adair testified. He stepped toward her, raised his arm and made a stabbing motion downward with a can opener.

Adair walked by him, picked up the phone and pressed the emergency button. As she did, Kelly threatened her. “If you ever pull a gun on me again, I’m going to get you,” she recalled him saying.

Another staff member gave Kelly some anaesthetic and opened the door for him to leave.

When Kelly was arrested, he was initially denied bail. He was released from custody in August when the Crown asked for his trial to be adjourned from September to November.

On Dec. 13, at Kelly’s sentencing hearing, the Crown said it would consider asking for a conditional sentence order if Kelly continued to show progress. His defence lawyer, Kirk Karaszkiewicz, asked for probation.

Blake, who was not convinced there had been a significant change in Kelly’s behaviour, gave him an extended period of probation to see if he could stay out of trouble.

On Friday, prosecutor Steve Fudge said the Crown was no longer seeking a conditional sentence order and would be content with probation.

“When a person makes progress, it should be recognized and rewarded,” said Fudge. “This has been an extended period of real effort on behalf of Mr. Kelly.”

Karaszkiewicz was also pleased with Kelly’s effort.

“He actually has been towing the line. He has been taking his medication,” said Karaszkiewicz.

Blake reminded Kelly he is still under supervision. Kelly is not to possess any weapons, drugs or drug paraphalernalia. Blake also ordered Kelly to take any anger management, lifeskills and relationship courses or counselling as directed by his probation officer. He is not to attend the dental clinic and is to be back in provincial court in about six months.

“I want to see how you are progressing,” said Blake. “I am pleased with the steps you have made and want you to keep this up.”

ldickson@timescolonist.com

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