Frequent offender given suspended sentence for threats

Ryan Ross
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Michael Arthur Gaudet pleads guilty to threatening former girlfriend

Provincial court

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.

 

Geographic location: Charlottetown

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Recent comments

  • Dayle Ryan
    October 01, 2012 - 17:38

    What's it going to take to put this guy behind bars before he commits a murder, 100 convicitons??? Police seem to be doing their work, bringing them up in front of a judge and then the judge lets them off with a suppended, or time already served. Not if, but WEHN a tradgedy takes place, it's going to be too late to say "I told you so", so please wake up and give these criminals stiffer sentences, better in jail and the public can feel safe! D.R.

  • Fed Up
    September 29, 2012 - 17:05

    What are they waiting for? The guy to KILL her??? I'll bet if one of the politicians was threatened ONCE - not 70 times - the judge would treat him differently. 70 convictions and walk away.......what a joke!!!

  • How to eliminate caucus meetings . . .
    September 29, 2012 - 11:49

    If Island judges jailed every frequent offender the Legislature would be empty.

  • Dayle Ryan
    September 29, 2012 - 10:43

    70 convictions, police say not one good bone in his body, they arrest him, press charges, and take him up in front of the judge. This is a very dangerous man, I sure wouldn't want to be liviing beside him or meet him in a dark alley. The sentences here are a JOKE, how many times does a person have to reoffend before he's locked up for a long time. Guess when this individual seriousely hurts or even kills someone, only then will the justice system come to help the victim, BUT it may be too late!!!! D.R.

  • Sam
    September 29, 2012 - 08:33

    PEI is a safe haven for criminals as offered by some Judges....nothing new.

  • Wha??
    September 29, 2012 - 07:57

    What a waste of taxpayer money. Why even bother having a police force.

  • peigirl
    September 29, 2012 - 07:03

    "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." - He was allowed to blatantly intimidate a witness and to speak directly to her???? in court! If I was ever to become a victim of a crime and have to face this judge I would want to drop the charges too.

  • Sylvia
    September 28, 2012 - 17:48

    P.E.I., a great place for criminals, not so good for victims.

  • WERESOSPINELESS
    September 28, 2012 - 17:25

    Douglas is the judge I want if I'm ever in the defendant's box.

  • grampie
    September 28, 2012 - 15:37

    Add me to the list that thinks this is a ridiculous sentence. Most Canadians know our justice system is a joke but in this case, the judge is the joke and not doing his duty. This guy should be sent to jail and the key thrown away for all the convictions he has plead guilty to. I wouldn't want this guy living next door. Maybe he should be living in the judges house since he is the one who gave him a suspended sentence.

  • Chester Field
    September 28, 2012 - 13:55

    WOW, 70 convictions wasn't enough for some jail time....hey, I'm betting that he could probably make it in to the Guiness Book of World Records ....looking good buddy, but just to be on the safe side, go for 100, hey, you are only young, should be able to do it, especially with the mustice, err, I mean , Justice system we got going here in PEI.....I guess the only answer here is to get rid of all the judges other than JUDGE ORR, she seems to be the only one with the b@lls to do anything with these losers....

  • Bill Kays
    September 28, 2012 - 13:14

    This fellow should have been given jail time, period, unless there are other circumstances we are unaware of. Obviously the court system did not want to prosecute this case, otherwise they would have used the other stayed charges against this offender. What peeves me off about our legal system is this. Why do the police always charge someone with many different violations only to have the charges stayed. Do they not know the particular law(s) that were broken or are they trying to hedge their bets when it comes to getting a conviction? Or is it a pressure tactic used to overwhelm someone into pleading guilty? If you are charged with multiple offenses chances are you are going to be offered a deal to plead guilty to 1 charge or 2 and they will drop the others. It matters not that they would fail to convict on most of those charges, they still lay them only as a pressure tactic.

  • Mel
    September 28, 2012 - 13:03

    Only on PEI.............. What a joke.

  • COMMISSIONS
    September 28, 2012 - 12:54

    A way to get these judges to do their jobe is to pay them by commission and they only ger paid if a CONVICTED felon is given an appropriate sentence. That should make them start protecting the people of this pronince.

  • SEVENTY CONVICTIONS
    September 28, 2012 - 12:49

    Congratulations, Seventy convictions on PEI entitles ou to a GET OUT OF JAIL FREE CARD. Use it as you see fit, May the courst system be with you as they are certainly not for the people of this province.

  • steve
    September 28, 2012 - 12:20

    That'll teach him.

  • Mell
    September 28, 2012 - 11:32

    Boy, if you are going to be a criminal in your lifetime, do it in PEI where the courts let you away with everything- 70 offenses, including this, and the guy is suspended. Come on, judges- where is your justice coming from???

  • ajax
    September 28, 2012 - 11:20

    What a great Country for crimminals.

  • angus
    September 28, 2012 - 10:56

    I bet Islanders are happy once again with their Liberal appointed hug-a-thug judges?

    • Bill
      September 28, 2012 - 12:58

      People commenting should at least have their facts straight. Chief Judge John Douglas was appointed August 18, 2000. This was a PC Government, not Liberal.

  • ELECTRICALENGINEER
    September 28, 2012 - 10:37

    WOW.. This judge really threw the book at him, didn't he. An even 70! I wonder of that is some kind of record.

  • ronfrom charlottetown
    September 28, 2012 - 10:28

    GREAT JOB ! Douglas has done it again !!!

    • intobed
      September 28, 2012 - 13:59

      Astonishing, isn't it. The "hug-a-thug" judge is at it again.

  • What
    September 28, 2012 - 10:00

    69 convictions by age 28?Suspended sentence? 12 months probation?$50 to victims fund? I am seriously shaking my head here. Apparently we wait until he commits a "more serious" crime?Judge Douglas? No words. Still shaking my head.................

    • billmacinnis
      September 29, 2012 - 12:23

      this creep Gaudet, will surely bring great harm to someone before he is put away for the safety of the public. wake up judges before its too late.