Man with three-page criminal record pleads guilty again

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41-year-old with ‘significant mental health struggles’ has a lengthy criminal record ‘replete with violent offences’; latest convictions include assault with a weapon and threatening

A judge told Justin St. Amour last week that he’s “a pretty scary person” when he’s off his medication.

It seems like a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde situation, Ontario Court Justice John Condon said after hearing the details behind six offences the 41-year-old admitted committing.

“When you are on your medications you are a different person.”

St. Amour pleaded guilty to assault with a weapon, threatening, and four counts of breaching probation.

The court heard city police responded to a weapons call at 3:15 p.m. on Aug. 2.

A male, walking through the backyard of a home on Stevens Street, pulled out a knife when he was confronted, prosecutor David Didiodato said.

He threatened the person and then jumped over a fence.

Another witness spotted him doing that, and officers began a canine track that took them to Nino Drive, where they located, searched and arrested St. Amour.

Along the track, the cops found a black jacket and an army-style knife.

On July 8, the Ontario Provincial Police received a call from Bell’s Point campground about an unwanted person, who had been nabbed breaking into a shed and was evicted from the park.

St. Amour returned to the office and was yelling at a number of individuals.

One of the victims recorded his threats to kill all of them, Didiodato said.

The accused has a lengthy three-page criminal record that is “replete with violent offences” and includes multiple convictions for assault with a weapon.

The Crown and defence counsel Anthony Orazietti jointly called for a five-month jail term.

With the enhanced credit St. Amour received for his pre-sentence custody, he faced a further 10 days behind bars, when the judge imposed the jail term Friday.

Orazietti said his client is schizophrenic and has “significant mental health struggles.”

When he takes his medications he is compliant, but “unfortunately at the time of the incidents he was off his medications and had no place to live.”

St. Amour plans to live at a shelter when he is released, and sees a psychiatrist, the defence said.

The hope is “he has supports in place that will keep him out of the criminal justice system.”

When Condon sentenced him, he told St. Amour the idea is to keep him connected to the people who will help him stay balanced so that he’s not frightening others.

Once he’s released, the accused will be on probation for two years, with conditions that include no weapons and no communication nor contact with the victims.

He must stay away from Bell’s Point and an address on Stevens Street.

As well, St. Amour must participate in any recommended counselling, assessment and rehabilitation programs for psychiatric and psychological issues.

The judge also imposed a 10-year weapons prohibition, and ordered him to provide a DNA sample for analysis.

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