Chainsaw-wielding man at family court sentenced to 6 months in jail
The man who was arrested after wielding and revving a chainsaw outside family court in St. John's in September was sentenced Tuesday to six months in jail.
The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary was called to the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador Family Division on King's Bridge Road around 9:30 a.m. Sept. 2.
He decided, as an attention-seeking exercise, to stop at the court and "make some noise."- Judge Mark Pike
A man approached the courthouse with a chainsaw revving, after he had been served papers the day before.
The man, whose name has not been released due to a publication ban, was told to stop by an officer who had drawn his service pistol. He eventually put the chainsaw on the ground and surrendered to police.
A judge sentenced the man Tuesday to six months behind bars for the incident.
In a court decision, Judge Mark Pike said the man testified he had "become extremely frustrated and 'emotionally worn out'" with the family court process relating to his access to his son.
"He said that he had no intention to harm anyone," Pike said in the court decision. "One his way to work he decided, as an attention-seeking exercise, to stop at the court and 'make some noise' with the chainsaw he used for work.
During the court process, the man did "acknowledge what he did was wrong and that he should not have put the police officer, who he described as acting in a most professional manner, in such a difficult and precarious situation."
Deadly force could have been used
The man, who has no prior criminal record, had previously pleaded guilty to weapons charges and assault with a weapon.
"Had he continued towards the police in this menacing fashion one might have reasonably expected that the officer would have used deadly force against [him]," Pike wrote in his decision.
The judge said in his decision that the man suffers from no mental illness and knew when he was wielding the chainsaw that the likely resolution would be the police coming to arrest him.
The man will serve a six-month sentence for possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose, and a concurrent three-month sentence for assaulting an officer with a weapon.
He will be given 1.5 credit for time served, and placed on 18 months probation once he is released.
The man has been in custody since his arrest Sept. 2.