Michael Arthur Gaudet pleads guilty to threatening former girlfriend
Provincial court of Prince Edward Island
A man who went into his trial with 69 convictions on his criminal record left with an even 70 and a suspended sentence after pleading guilty Tuesday to threatening his former girlfriend.
Michael Arthur Gaudet, 28, appeared before Chief Judge John Douglas Tuesday in provincial court in Charlottetown for the second day of his trial, but changed his plea to guilty on a charge of uttering a threat.
The Crown stayed several other charges against him.
During the trial, the Crown showed video of a statement the victim, who is Gaudet's former girlfriend, gave to police, in which she said he took her purse.
The victim told police she called Gaudet the next day to get the purse back and that was when he threatened her and another man.
Tuesday's proceedings were much different from the trial's first day on Monday when Crown attorney John McMillan called a reluctant victim to the stand to testify.
"I don't want to do this," she said.
The victim and Gaudet have known each other for 10 years, they were in a relationship for one year and have a history of committing criminal offences together.
After she took the stand, the victim repeatedly said she didn't remember giving the police statement and a urine test showed she had taken "benzos" even though she didn't know how they got in her system.
Benzo is short for benzodiazepine, which is a class of drugs that includes Xanax.
The victim said she was on methadone at the time.
She also said she didn't want to continue numerous times because she didn't want anything to happen to Gaudet and she didn't want to answer any of McMillan's questions.
"I don't want to go through with this," she said.
When she did answer questions, the victim's testimony varied at times from what she told police and the trial entered a voir dire to determine if the video statement could be entered into evidence.
Douglas allowed the statement.
The victim's mother also testified during the voir dire and at one point asked if the court could stop Gaudet from staring at her from around his lawyer's back.
Gaudet responded by leaning forward and asking if she would rather he stared at her from around the front.
He then turned his chair and leaned back to stare at her.
When he made the threats, Gaudet was on probation, which included an order not to have any contact with the victim.
On Tuesday, McMillan said the police were going to tell the victim she would be charged if she initiated any further contact with Gaudet.
"It may very well be wishful thinking," McMillan said.
McMillan said Gaudet and the victim used drugs together and had an unhealthy, dysfunctional relationship.
The victim went to the courthouse Tuesday but wasn't allowed into the courtroom.
Gaudet's lawyer, Randy MacDonald, said his client didn't want any further relationship with the victim.
In handing down a sentence, Douglas said Gaudet's record was an aggravating factor, although the previous offences were unrelated.
Douglas said the threats were serious, but not isolated in the context of Gaudet's relationship with the victim.
He then gave Gaudet, who was in custody while awaiting trial, a suspended with 12 months probation and ordered him to pay $50 to the victims of crime fund.
Douglas included a no-contact order as a condition of the probation and told Gaudet to tell his parole officer if the victim tried to contact him.