Guilty of domestic violence, a Gatineau resident receives a conditional discharge


Guilty of domestic violence, a Gatineau resident receives a conditional discharge

While the Crown was asking for six months in prison, the judge ruled that it would jeopardize Joshua Schoo's job with the City of Ottawa.

A Gatineau resident who admitted causing harm to his wife after strangling, threatening and assaulting her received a conditional discharge to protect his career and so that he can continue to travel abroad with his children .

Judge Serge Laurin granted a discharge with numerous conditions to Joshua Schoo on July 27 in the Criminal and Penal Division of the Court of Quebec.

The man admitted to having been violent during a dispute in March 2021 with the one who had been his wife of 17 years as well as the mother of his 4 children. He pleaded guilty to three counts of domestic violence.

At the time of the events, Joshua Schoo had just returned to the family home after having had an extramarital relationship for several months. He had also encouraged his wife to form such a relationship herself.

But when his wife told him that she had met another man, Mr. Schoo the took it badly, details the judgment in English.

The man, who had started drinking earlier that same day, began to insult his spouse and throw objects out of the windows of the residence. He broke down the bedroom door where the woman had taken refuge, sat on her chest, held a pillow to her face and his hand to her neck and face.

The couple's children witnessed the attack. It was their 13-year-old daughter who called the police, reporting that her father was beating her mother and that he was intoxicated, the judgment indicates.

This attack has left the woman with several bruises on her arms and wrists, scratches on her shoulders and heavy red marks on the base of her neck.

In an email presented in court, the victim said she was broken by this event during which she believed she was going to die. “I mourn for my children who I hope will one day heal and for my family who I thought was [inviolable]. This is my life, my new reality. A broken heart, a broken home, far from the dream I once had,” she wrote.

Judge Serge Laurin noted several extenuating circumstances.< /p>

The evidence did not show a history of domestic violence during their marriage. The evidence showed some confrontations between them but no physical violence. It was an isolated event in a 17-year marriage, he wrote.

He also notes that the man has already spent a significant period of time in therapy without waiting for judgment to impose it, that he has stopped consuming alcohol and that he has expressed sincere remorse.


While the Crown demanded six months in prison, the judge ruled that it would jeopardize Joshua Schoo's job with the City of Ottawa and therefore the family's income .

Mr. Schoo also avoids having a criminal record for these offences, since with such a record it should be impossible for him to visit his sister in the United States and vacation there with him. their children. Additionally, it [could prevent him] from doing community service at his church, the document notes.

Joshua Schoo will be subject to a two-year probationary period, during which he will not be able to contact the victim in any way or approach him. He will also have to continue his therapies, perform 250 hours of community service and donate $5,000 to an organization.

If the Crown refrains from commenting on this judgment, it indicates however that it is currently [proceeding] to the analysis of this decision in order to determine whether it will be appealed, as indicated by the criminal and penal prosecuting attorney at the Gatineau office, Me Sarah-Amélie Perry-Fournier.

This is the wish of the spokesperson for the Regroupement des maisons pour femmes victims de violence conjugale, Louise Riendeau. We can hope that the Director of Criminal and Penal Prosecutions, who seems to be assessing the situation at the moment, will appeal the case, she says.

Underlining the seriousness of the situation, and recalling that a strangulation attempt is often a significant risk factor for spousal or intra-family homicides, Louise Riendeau points out that this court decision raises many questions.

It's like a slap in the face, to all the work we've done, comments for her part the director of Women's Shelters Canada, Lise Martin. We have the strong impression that violence against women is a social problem and not a personal problem. And part of that decision sends me this message, that this person clearly feels that a man's job is more important than this woman's life, she continues.

Communications and Public Relations Coordinator of the Network of Crime Victims Assistance Centers (CAVAC), Marie-Christine Villeneuve also finds this decision surprising in a context where there is not only an awareness of the seriousness of these types of incidents, but also of many hopeful changes within the justice system, changes that aim to better support victims.

I think that at a time when, at least in Quebec, we are trying to rebuild the confidence of victims in the justice system, it is certainly not a judgment that will contribute to it, regrets for her part Louise Riendeau.


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