An Okanagan man who pleaded guilty to assaulting and threatening two women was sentenced on Tuesday to spend another four-and-a-half months behind bars after striking a plea deal with the crown.
Russell McDermid, a 39-year-old man from Prince George who had been living in the Kelowna-area, was sentenced to 22 months in prison followed by three years of probation after he entered a guilty plea on six of eight charges against him including assault, assault causing bodily harm and two counts each of uttering threats and criminal harassment. As a result of the plea, the crown stayed the two other charges he was facing for mischief and sexual assault with a weapon.
McDermid appeared in court by video from Okanagan Correctional Centre, not saying much or showing any emotion as the agreed-upon statement of facts was read.
The charges stem from incidents of abuse that occurred in 2017 and 2018 relating to two different women. The nature of the relationships between McDermid and each of the women cannot be disclosed to protect their identities.
The assault charge resulted from an August 2017 incident in which McDermid punched one of the women in the face. Later that year in November, he repeatedly punched the woman in the face until she lost several teeth.
Between September 2017 and April 2018, McDermid threatened the same woman several times in person and over text message. Over that period he threatened to beat her, attach a tracking device to her car, smash all of her belongings, throw a bomb inside her home, falsely expose her as a sex worker, lock her up, stab her friend, kick her pregnant friend in the stomach, kill himself and cut her labia off.
A charge of sexual assault with a weapon against that woman was dropped following McDermid’s guilty plea.
He similarly threatened and harassed the other woman and admitted to beating her as well, but charges were not laid on that assault.
McDermid was released on bail three months later, spending time in a drug treatment facility. He was evicted from that facility in April and found himself back in jail.
McDermid has 19 previous convictions for similar offences involving threatening and assaulting women but Crown prosecutor Patricia O’Neil said he has not previously served significant sentences for those crimes.
O’Neil and defence counsel Jordan Watt were granted their joint submission on sentencing by Justice Karen Horsman. McDermid has already spent nearly a year in prison and was granted enhanced credit (1.5 days per day served) for that time. He will remain behind bars for another 4.5 months before being released into a three-year probation.
Conditions on his probation include no contact with the victims or their families.
According to Watt, McDermid will be moving back home to Prince George to live with his family.