Nova Scotia

Halifax police officer pleads guilty to assault

Det. Const. Joseph Farrow, 51, has pleaded guilty to a charge of common assault in relation to an incident in Hammonds Plains in September while he was off-duty.

Det. Const. Joseph Farrow, 51, originally charged with unlawfully entering a home and sexual assault

Det. Const. Joseph Farrow, right, is shown Thursday entering Halifax provincial court. (Blair Rhodes/CBC)

A Halifax Regional Police officer has pleaded guilty to a charge of common assault in relation to an incident in Hammonds Plains in September while he was off-duty.

Det. Const. Joseph Farrow, 51, was originally charged with unlawfully entering a home and sexual assault.

During an appearance Thursday in Halifax provincial court, the sexual assault charge was replaced with the common assault charge and the second charge against Farrow was withdrawn.

The Crown is proceeding summarily on the assault charge, which means Farrow will face a lighter sentence than if the Crown had proceeded by indictment.

The defence has requested a pre-sentence report. Farrow will be sentenced in April.

He was charged after the province's Serious Incident Response Team investigated the allegations. In a news release at the time, SIRT said Farrow knew the owner of the home, who he is accused of assaulting.

Farrow was off-duty at the time of the incident. He has been suspended with pay.

Other officers

Farrow is one of three Halifax officers to be charged around the same time.

Const. Jennifer Lea McPhee, 43, was charged on Sept. 13 with stealing from a Superstore while carrying her service weapon with her. Police subsequently laid additional theft charges against her, all involving Superstores in the Halifax area. She is scheduled to return to court in March.

As a result of her case, Halifax Regional Police Chief Dan Kinsella instituted a new policy requiring all officers to leave their service weapons at the station when they're not on duty.

In October, SIRT charged Const. Jeffrey LeBlanc, 35, with weapons and threats charges in relation to an incident that occurred Oct. 7 in Eastern Passage.

About the Author

Blair Rhodes

Reporter

Blair Rhodes has been a journalist for more than 35 years, the last 27 with CBC. His primary focus is on stories of crime and public safety. He can be reached at blair.rhodes@cbc.ca