Brantford court: Man’s ‘refreshing’ statement cuts jail time

A simple sentence seemed to cut a man’s jail sentence by about half a year when he appeared in court recently.

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“I deserve whatever you give me,” Cayne Hill, 26, told Justice Gethin Edward.

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“That’s a refreshing statement,” Edward said in surprise.

“That speaks more to your rehabilitation than anything I’ve heard so far.”

Hill admitted to attacking two women on different occasions several years ago. He pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated assault from Sept. 21, 2020 and June 14, 2021.

In one, he permanently damaged the eyesight of a woman who used to be his partner and, in another, he head butted the face of a woman he didn’t know at a bar.

Assistant Crown attorney Samer Nakib said Hill made an “unprovoked, senseless and prolonged attack” on the seriously injured woman, hitting her repeatedly around the head and face.

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“The fracture to her face will never be able to heal properly. She continues to struggle with the events of that day.”

Hill spent more than a year in jail in Maplehurst, awaiting a chance to plead guilty, which he did in November.

“Why did it take so long?” asked the judge, indicating he prefers to see offenders plead quickly and have a chance at getting to the Ontario Correctional Institute in Brampton where there are programs and facilities aimed at rehabilitation for those sentenced to more than a year in jail.

“Get in, plead, get to OCI, deal with your situation,” Edward said. “Come out a better person as opposed to delay, delay, delay and staying warehoused in Maplehurst then coming before the court without any advantage of having any rehabilitative treatment.”

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But long-time defense lawyer Dale Henderson argued that point, saying it’s a “fraud on the public” to believe that offenders who are sentenced with a recommendation to be placed in OCI actually make it there.

“If you give him in excess of 12 months he may go to OCI or he could do what my other clients have done and spend the whole 12 months at Maplehurst.

“OCI can only take about 100 people in programs at a time.”

“Maybe he’ll be one of the lucky 100,” Edward responded sharply, saying offenders have been “playing” with pretrial custody rather than trying to get help for their issues.

The judge deemed Hill’s case as a “crisis” in the justice system.

“He’s been languishing in jail for the better part of a year, waiting for an outcome that should have been provided to him on a much earlier date,” said Edward.

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“This crisis was occasioned by a lack of contact with counsel and by a facility that lacks the ability to connect an accused with their counsel. This crisis needs to be addressed sooner than later because if we want to have access to justice then it means timely access to justice.”

The judge noted that Hill’s violence dashed the career plans of the victim who was left with vision damage and he showed “indiscriminate anger fueled by alcohol” toward the second woman.

Edward said he was initially thinking of sentencing Hill to a further 18 months in jail as opposed to the further six months requested by his defense counsel.

“Yet, despite the excuses offered up by counsel for bad behavior, this accused says ‘I deserve whatever you give me’ and as a result he will be left with a further 12 months to serve.”

Hill will also have to serve a three-year probation and have absolutely no contact with his victims during that time.

The judge made “the strongest possible recommendation” that Hill be sent to OCI for his sentence.

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