Jail for man who beat girlfriend with branch at busy Shuswap beach party

Jailed for beach party attack

A man who was served some instant “rough justice” after violently attacking his girlfriend at a party on a busy beach on Shuswap Lake has been ordered to spend more than two months in jail.

Colton Wyatt Roy, 24, was sentenced Monday in Kamloops provincial court after pleading guilty to charges of assault with a weapon, uttering threats, possessing a weapon for a dangerous purpose and breaching release conditions.

Court heard Roy and his then-girlfriend were among a large group of young people partying at Canoe Beach near Salmon Arm in the early-morning hours of June 26 when police were called to the area for a report of an assault.

Crown prosecutor Bonnie MacDonald said Roy became violent with his girlfriend after she confronted him about cheating on her. Roy grabbed the victim by the neck and choked her, then punched her in the face.

MacDonald said Roy and the woman were separated before Roy grabbed a tree branch and used it to beat her again.

“Colton had a big stick with branches on it, and he hit [her] with the stick,” she said.

"She tried to stop it, then Colton got up in her face and punched her and she fell to the ground. Then the group chased Colton away and ultimately assaulted him.”

Roy was injured in the ensuing attack, which MacDonald referred to as “rough justice.”

MacDonald said the victim later told police Roy warned her he would hurt her if she ever “called him a goof.”

The threats and weapons charges stem from an incident in Quesnel on Oct. 17, and the breach charge was laid after Roy was caught with the victim in the beach attack on Oct. 28, violating a no-contact condition put in place after his arrest.

Roy has a violent criminal record, including convictions for assault with a weapon, uttering threats and possessing a weapon. His most serious conviction was in 2020 for aggravated assault, which came after Roy and another individual levelled a beating that left the victim with multiple skull fractures and swelling of the brain.

Defence lawyer Airi Cipelletti said Roy struggles with addictions issues and was “grossly intoxicated” at the time of the beach assault.

“This, of course, does not excuse his behaviour, which was serious and involved an intimate partner, but it was a factor in his offending,” she said. “And he does take responsibility and expresses significant remorse.”

Cipelletti said Roy had a difficult childhood and has struggled in the past in jail. She said he was the victim of a three-on-one “stomping” in prison while serving his three-year assault causing bodily harm sentence.

Roy was apologetic in court.

“I’m just sorry for my actions and I wish I made better choices throughout my life, your honour,” he said.

Roy was sentenced to nearly 2.5 months in jail, after which time he will spend three years on probation.

Once being given credit for time served, he will have 66 days remaining on his sentence.

Roy was also ordered to submit a sample of his DNA to a national criminal database.

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