Update: see previous posts – March 16, 2013 Lawyer Asks Why Toronto Police Association Funded her Assaulter’s Defence, January 11, 2013 Toronto Police Officer Charged and Convicted of Assaulting Girlfriend
Judge calls Toronto police officer Jason Peacock, found guilty of domestic assault, ‘a good man’ as he gets conditional discharge after 18 months probation.
A veteran Toronto police officer found guilty of assaulting his then-girlfriend, a prominent defence lawyer, and damaging her condo will be given a conditional discharge after 18 months of probation, a judge ruled Tuesday morning.
Const. Jason Peacock, 40, will also have to pay $4,300 in restitution and perform 100 hours of community service.
“He is a good man who, but for his involvement with Ms Wells (the complainant), led not only an unblemished but exemplary life,” said Justice Michael Epstein at the sentencing hearing, noting that Peacock is attending counselling and has been demoted from sergeant to constable.
He remains suspended from the Toronto Police Service with pay, facing seven charges of failure to comply with a court order, one charge of criminal harassment against Wells and one charge of witness intimidation. Those charges, laid last year, were not taken into account in the sentencing hearing.
A friend of Kathryn Wells read out a victim impact statement to the court on her behalf, describing the events that occurred early Christmas Eve morning in 2010 as a “nightmare.”
Wells had repeatedly asked Peacock to leave her condo but he refused, she had testified.
He swore at her, shook her hard by the shoulders, punched holes in her walls, smashed drinking glasses and overturned her marble-topped kitchen island.
“It was not the first time Jason had taken out his rage on me but it was the worst. . . there was a period where I thought he was going to kill me,” Wells wrote in the statement.
The statement described her feelings of shame and humiliation in the aftermath of the assault, and the impact of that on her family and job.
“Being completely put down, screamed at, lied to and manipulated brought my self-esteem to an all-time low,” she wrote. “Jason crushed me and I was supposedly the girl he loved.”
The statement also expressed her continued outrage at Peacock’s legal fees being covered by the police union, despite the case pertaining to off-duty domestic assault charges.
“The Toronto Police Association automatically assumed I was a liar and paid for Jason’s legal fees,” she wrote.
Peacock refused to comment Tuesday on whether the union paid his legal fees.
When given an opportunity to address the court, he took a deep breath and said: “This has been an incredibly difficult process.”
“I respect the court’s decision,” Wells told the Star after the hearing. “I think the bigger issue here is the attitude of the union towards domestic violence going forward . . . If the Toronto Police Association is genuinely concerned for victims, and a ‘strong advocate against domestic violence,’ I would think Mr. McCormack (the union president) would have no hesitation in assuring the public that going forward, the Toronto Police Association will not fund the defences of police officers charged with off-duty domestic violence.”
McCormack says the union does not comment publicly on “who we fund or don’t fund. It’s an association matter.”