Judge shows mercy in sentencing man who uttered threat

Steve Sharratt comment@theguardian.pe.ca
Published on March 28, 2016

Judge shows mercy

GEORGETOWN - A hard-working truck driver whose rambunctious rant last fall led to his rural house being surrounded by armed police was shown a touch of mercy from a provincial court judge.

Scott Boyd Shaw had a “bad day” last October over a child payment case in which he uttered a threat against himself to a provincial employee and suggested the police come and get him.

The police wound up on the front lawn of his Lorne Valley property with lights flashing along with the emergency response team and even a dog handler. Authorities had no idea if he was armed and were led to believe he might do harm.

“You’re lucky you live on P.E.I.,” said Chief Judge Nancy Orr. “In other jurisdictions they might have come in with guns blazing.”

The 29-year-old pleaded guilty to uttering a threat “that I might as well put a bullet in my head or hers” about an estranged girlfriend and mother of his child. He made the comment to a provincial maintenance officer on the phone after requesting a change in his support payments because he was no longer earning higher wages in western Canada.

A pre-sentence report described the incident totally out of character since Shaw had rave reviews from his employers, always paid his bills, and was considered a sound citizen. The man also apologized to the provincial employee and his former partner and to the police for causing a ruckus that began with a comment and turned into a two hour event.

Shaw responded to police hailing him to come out of his property on that Saturday morning without incident, without guns and without injuries.

“I’m amazed that when he was taken to the hospital following this incident he wasn’t referred to counselling right away,’’ said the judge. “We have some great gaps in our system.”

Shaw was sentenced to 60 days to be served in his home in Stratford where he lives with a girlfriend and her child.

“It means you go to work and come home and stay there,’’ said the judge.