FASD & the Justice System
R. v. Jacobish, [2008] N.J. No. 255; 279 Nfld. & P.E.I.R. 331

FACTS: Accused pleaded guilty to two counts of assaulting a police officer and one of failing to comply with conditions of an undertaking. The accused and his brother were drinking at their aunt's home, and they refused to leave. The police were called and when they arrived, the brothers reacted with violence. The accused threatened to kill the officer and hit one constable in his head with a snowmobile belt assembly, and kicked another constable. There is the possibility that Mr. Jacobish is suffering from FASD and the probation officer had recommended that Mr. Jacobish would benefit from an assessment for FASD.

HELD: Accused received 120 days in prison on each count of assaulting an officer plus 30 days on the charge of breach of an undertaking, to be served concurrently, plus two years of probation. The sentence was to be served on an intermittent basis to accommodate continued employment. He had had limited employment in recent years and the inactivity resulting from this lack of work had contributed to his alcohol and behaviour problems. The accused's extensive criminal record showed a history of difficulty in honouring his promises and a tendency to resort to violence. An aggravating factor was that this was the second time in recent years the accused had been convicted of assaulting a police officer, and that in the intervening years he had been convicted of threatening violence, mischief and failure to honour his promises.

However, the court considered that the accused was an Aboriginal offender and that he had an alcohol addiction. He was ordered to participate in an assessment for FASD to help identify any cognitive difficulties or special needs and enable the probation officer to develop a more specialized program to assist in rehabilitation.

CanLII link: http://www.canlii.org/eliisa/highlight.do?text=R.+v.+Jacobish&language=en&searchTitle=Search+all+CanLII+Databases&path=/en/nl/nlsctd/doc/2008/2008nltd148/2008nltd148.html