Crown seeking 2 years jail

Crown prosecutors are seeking an 18-24 month sentence for a man who broke into the Penticton home of his ex-spouse and assaulted her before taking off with the pair’s two-year-old.

Mitchell Racine, 35, pleaded guilty to one count of break and enter and one count of assault stemming from the Nov. 19, 2015 incident.

Police were called to a Penticton home that morning for a domestic assault and arrived to find a smashed window, door and television as well as a crying woman.

Court heard Racine had broken into the home and took the pair’s young child, assaulting the mother in the process. The victim sustained a large black eye and significant swelling and bruising to her face.

Racine had been barred from the home by the Ministry of Children and Family Development.

When police attended the motel where Racine lived, the child was found unharmed. Racine was arrested for assault.

“One of the most serious and aggravating aspects of this case is the fact that a young child was taken without permission from the mother… it is extremely troubling,” said Crown prosecutor Kurt Froehlich.

The Crown requested an 18 to 24 month jail term and two years probation.

Defence lawyer Tiffany Zanatta told the courts her client is extremely regretful about the incident and wants to attend treatment for alcohol addiction so he can be a part of his daughter’s life again.

“He hasn’t seen her for quite some time and this has been very tough on him, because that little girl, he informs me, is his life,” Zanatta said.

The defence argued that the 134 days worth of prison time Racine has already served should be enough of a sentence. At the time of the offence, Racine had just one prior criminal conviction for mischief, although he has since caught new cases in Alberta where he returned to after being released on bail.

Zanatta called the Crown’s suggested sentence “excessive and unreasonable.”

“I just apologize for everything. I just want to go home and start my treatment and be with my daughter eventually,” Racine said when given the chance to speak.

The judge reserved her sentence for a later date.

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