Patrick Brazeau gets no jail time or criminal record following guilty plea
Former Conservative could be suspended again when Parliament resumes next month
Sen. Patrick Brazeau has been granted an absolute discharge after pleading guilty to assault and cocaine charges in September, which means he avoids both jail time and a criminal record.
Brazeau pleaded to reduced charges of assault and possession of cocaine after a more serious charge of sexual assault was dropped due to a lack of evidence.
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In delivering the decision, Quebec Court Judge Valmont Beaulieu agreed with Brazeau's lawyer and the Crown prosecutor, both of whom jointly recommended an absolute discharge.
"There are situations where people do commit these crimes, but I haven't," Brazeau said after the ruling came down.
"The Crown certainly saw throughout this process that the lady that made these accusations against me lacked credibility, the judge today mentioned that she lacked credibility, I knew this all along — but it's over."
Brazeau still faces a criminal trial for fraud and breach of trust arising from his Senate expenses, scheduled to take place in March 2016.
Speaking outside the courtroom after the decision came down, the former member of the Conservative caucus said he hopes to be able to resume his Senate career "as soon as possible."
He was kicked out of the Tory caucus after he was charged and was suspended from the upper chamber in November 2013, but the suspension without pay was lifted when Parliament was dissolved for the federal election.
Brazeau is currently on a leave of absence with pay. His salary is being clawed back to repay nearly $50,000 in disallowed housing expense claims.
Another previously-suspended colleague, Mike Duffy, is also on a leave of absence with pay.
Pamela Wallin will be able to take her seat in the Senate when Parliament resumes for a Throne Speech now expected in December.
Decisions around any additional suspensions rest with their fellow senators.
With files from CBC News