No jail time for man who assaulted hockey coach

Ryan Ross
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Scales of justice

A man who shoved his daughter's hockey coach after he didn't play the girl in the closing minutes of a friendly game won't be going to jail for the assault.

Darrell Wade Platts appeared before Chief Judge John Douglas in provincial court Thursday in Charlottetown where he pleaded guilty to assault for the March 31 incident at the Simmons Sport Centre.

Douglas gave Platts a conditional discharge.

It all stemmed from an exhibition high school girls hockey game his daughter played in for the Kinkora Regional High School team against Bluefield High School.

Crown attorney John McMillan told the court Kinkora coach David Rogers kept Platts's daughter off the ice for almost the last five minutes of the game.

The coach also switched out goalies for the third period, leaving Platts's niece on the bench.

McMillan said Platts took exception to those moves and confronted Rogers after the game, grabbed him and pushed him through a swinging door into a bathroom where Rogers fell to the floor.

"Mr. Rogers Platts essentially berated him," McMillan said.

The police took statements and Platts acknowledged there was an altercation, but rationalized his actions by saying Rogers bullied his daughter and niece by not playing them, McMillan said.

When it came to punishment for the offence, the defence requested alternative measures, which would have left Platts without a criminal record, but McMillan said the Crown denied the request.

McMillan said Platts didn't accept responsibility because he justified his actions as a father standing up for his daughter.

Although Rogers wasn't hurt, McMillan said he was scared.

"The whole thing was very ugly," McMillan said.

Defence attorney Cindy Cameron said Platts agreed he shoved Rogers, but didn't mean to push him to the ground.

Cameron said Platts was bullied as a child and so was his daughter when she was younger.

"He overreacted," Cameron said.

Platts was also facing disciplinary proceedings at work because of the incident and was awaiting the outcome of the legal proceedings to find out if he would lose his job with the provincial government.

In handing down a sentence, Douglas said he took into account Platts's guilty plea and that he expressed regret for his actions. Douglas also said Rogers falling was a foreseeable consequence of pushing him.

The judge gave Platts a conditional sentence, saying he didn't feel a criminal record was necessary.

"Often good people do stupid things, " Douglas said.

Platts has to perform 30 hours of community service or donate $10 to the P.E.I. Hockey Association for every hour he doesn't serve.

He already wrote an apology letter to Rogers.

rross@theguardian.pe.ca

twitter.com/ryanrross

 

Organizations: Simmons Sport Centre, Kinkora Regional High School, Bluefield High School P.E.I. Hockey Association

Geographic location: Charlottetown

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Recent comments

  • concerned
    June 08, 2012 - 20:31

    This coach has been coaching for years, I would trust having my kids coached by him. My children were taught respect and would not act the way that Mr. Platts' daughter acts or Mr. Platts himself. The player took herself out of the game, the coach did not sit her. Just come to the rink and see how Mr. Platts behaves on any given day.

  • simply commenting...
    June 08, 2012 - 10:35

    Facts only folks....the young player who sat out for almost 5 minutes, did so because of the roughness she displayed in this "friendly" hocket game resulting in penaly (s). The minor hockey coach is volunteering on his own time and trying to enforce "fair play" a concept lost on Mr Platts. I just hope his daughter does not follow in her father's footsteps.

  • Quiet Observer
    June 08, 2012 - 06:58

    And we wonder why kids today have such a feeling of "entitlement" and expect everyone else to look after them (hence the Occupy movement)? It is time that we teach our kids what real life is all about.

  • hockey fan
    June 08, 2012 - 00:51

    the guy shouldn't have shoved the coach but if it was a nothing game why sit anyone on the bench.

  • Gerry
    June 07, 2012 - 22:49

    While there are very legitimate abusive claims, it appears all too common that many abusers claim having been a victim, which therefore justifies the behaviour??? The abuse card is being played over and over again by the abuser, lawyers and judges so frequently now, the sentence or lack therefore has become predictable-excessive leniency. Abusive behaviour does not give anyone the right of passage to abuse others. There is absolutely no validation for this weak excuse.

  • intobed
    June 07, 2012 - 20:20

    I think it is time to put Judge Douglas in the penalty box.

  • Sensible Person
    June 07, 2012 - 19:29

    It never ceases to amaze me that the grown-ups at kids sporting events can act like idiots. Aren't children encouraged to learn to become good citizens through organized play? Aren't they supposed to learn that you can't always have your own way, nor can you always win? Aren't the adults supposed to teach kids that disappointment is part of life and learning to deal with it in a calm and sensible manner is what adults do? I hope that Mr. Platts has learned a lesson in sportsmanship, apology or not, because he did not act in a manner becoming to a parent. I was also bullied, but I certainly never took physical action against the agressor, nor should Platts against a volunteer coach. I hope he and other sports parents will remember these words: It is just a game.

  • Callie
    June 07, 2012 - 18:45

    Darrell Wade Platts works for Our Provincial government IMO, Thinks because of his employment position he can do whatever the he!! he wants and get away with it. Platts makes a public Fool of himself and his family and his government position THIS IS WHAT this News article and the corrupted Island legal-justice system tells me. Darrell Wade Platts for NO good Reason aassaulted this man and should have gotten at least 'house arrest' he wasn't afraid of losing his job because he's acquired a criminal record, he knew he's get away with it and Judge Douglas IMO is an accesory in allowing Platts TO Get Away with it. Platts IMO Is an azz.

  • Joe C
    June 07, 2012 - 18:10

    Judge John Douglas never puts anyone in jail, ever.

  • bully
    June 07, 2012 - 17:08

    saying that his kids were bullied because they didn't play trivializes bullying. geez louise.

  • Townie
    June 07, 2012 - 17:08

    That minor hockey coach, should never be allowed to coach again!

    • Townie
      June 08, 2012 - 11:11

      Dear goodness, please pick a different pen name. As the person using Townie pen name here for many years I hope your comment was sarcastic as this coach did nothing wrong.

  • WC
    June 07, 2012 - 16:51

    This judge is either stupid or blind. This man should be sentenced to a small amount of jail time just to show him he can not behave like this. He should be serving at least 3 days in jail for his actions. I have to wonder what happens next time he or his kids don't get their own way. Maybe he will have a gun or other weapon and then we will see a more serious incident. Maybe Judges should be made accountable for their decisions just like the rest of us ar in our lives.