Assault on referee leads to 30 days in jail for minor hockey player

A young hockey player will serve thirty days in jail on an intermittent basis for assaulting a referee.

Crown attorney: ‘This was the worst example of sportsmanship’

Cole Trevor Crane (right) and his father James Trevor Crane (left) attend provincial court on Wednesday, June 21, 2017. (Katerina Georgieva/CBC)

A young hockey player will serve thirty days in jail on an intermittent basis for assaulting a referee.

Starting Saturday, June 24, 2017, Cole Trevor Crane, 18 will serve his sentence on weekends so that he can also keep his job throughout the summer. He will also serve probation for eighteen months and must write a letter of apology to the referee.

Crane pleaded guilty in May.

Judge Nancy Orr said in court on Wednesday that officials need to be protected, and she wants people to understand that there will be sanctions if they commit offences of the same nature.

Crane kept his head down for most of the sentencing on Wednesday. He has also been suspended indefinitely by Hockey PEI after the incident.

The incident

On March 26, a fight broke out during a Midget AA finals hockey game. When the referee intervened, Crane pushed him and punched him twice in the face. His father also became involved.

A fight broke out on the ice at the Pownal Sports Centre in March 2017. (Malcolm Campbell/CBC)

The incident happened at the Pownal Sports Centre in Pownal, P.E.I. The referee did not need medical assistance, but did suffer a cut lip.

A statement of facts was filed with the court and probation services regarding the incident. That statement was read at the sentencing on Wednesday.

'This was the worst example of sportsmanship'

Both Crown attorney Gerald Quinn and Crane's defence lawyer, Yolande Murphy made their sentencing requests before the ruling.

Quinn argued that the message the judge sends with her ruling to other hockey players and to the public is important in this case.

"An assault is an assault is an assault," he said. "You don't get forgiven because you happen to be in a hockey arena."

"This was the worst example of sportsmanship," he added, and recommended a thirty day jail sentence with probation.

Crane's defence lawyer told the judge that he is remorseful for having lost his temper and is offering his apologies to the victim, the court and to the public. She argued that it was out of character for Crane, and that a jail sentence would not be appropriate in this case.

The judge agreed with the Crown.

Crane's father also in court

Crane's father, James Trevor Crane, 41, was also in court today.

He had been charged with assault in relation to the same incident at Pownal Sports Centre. That charge has been stayed.

James Crane must comply with the following conditions for the next twelve months: keep the peace and maintain good behaviour, he must have no contact with the assault victim, and he must refrain from being inside any hockey rink.

He agreed to those conditions.

With files from Krystalle Ramlakhan