Joshua Schoo Case: Superior Court Overturns Conditional Discharge

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Dossier Joshua Schoo: Superior Court overturns conditional discharge

Joshua Schoo admitted to having been violent during an argument, in March 2021, with the one who had been his wife of 17 years as well as the mother of his four children. (File photo)

The Superior Court of Quebec has ruled: After receiving a controversial conditional discharge last summer, Joshua Schoo will instead have to serve a suspended prison sentence. The man had pleaded guilty to domestic violence charges.

Judge James L. Brunton reversed, on Wednesday, the decision rendered in July 2022 by the Court of Quebec.

It thus obliges Joshua Schoo to stay at his home at all times, from March 20 to June 20. He will then be forced to respect a curfew, from June 21 to July 20.

Certain exceptions will be granted to him during these four months, in particular to attend religious services and a medical appointment.

Among other conditions, Joshua Schoo will be prohibited from communicating with the victim, which means not contacting them on social networks and not being within 200 meters of their residence. He will also not be able to consume alcohol or recreational drugs.

Finally, and for the rest of his life, Joshua Schoo will not be able to possess any prohibited firearm, restricted firearm, prohibited weapon, prohibited device and prohibited ammunition, can we read in the judgment written in English.

Following the media coverage of the case, the Director of Criminal and Penal Prosecutions (DPCP) chose to appeal the decision rendered on July 27, 2022 by Judge Serge Laurin .

The latter had granted a discharge with many conditions to Joshua Schoo by putting forward certain mitigating circumstances, such as the absence of a criminal record and the fact that it was an isolated event during a 17-year marriage.

Judge Laurin also mentioned the protection of Joshua Schoo's career and the possibility that he could continue to travel to the United States, his sister's place of residence, and to volunteer in a church.

In this decision, the judge also mentioned that the evidence showed some conflict between [the spouses], but no physical violence, even if Joshua Schoo had himself admitted to his violence during an argument in March 2021 with his wife, who is the mother of his four children.

Certain exceptions will be granted during these four months, in particular to attend religious services and a medical appointment. (File photo)

At the time of the events, the man had just returned to the family home after an extramarital relationship of several months. He himself had encouraged his wife to have such a relationship, but when his wife announced to him that she had met another man, Mr. Schoo took it badly, could we read in the judgment in English handed down to summer 2022.

The man, who had started drinking earlier in the day, broke down the bedroom door where the woman had taken refuge, sat on her chest, held a pillow to her face and hand against his neck and face.

Children of the spouses witnessed the assault. Their then 13-year-old daughter called the police, reporting that her father was beating her mother and was under the influence of substances, as the decision states.

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

The decision and the reasons mentioned by Judge Laurin had been strongly denounced by various organizations helping women victims of domestic violence.

With information from Claudine Richard

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