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P.E.I. woman escapes jail for throwing pot of hot water, pasta at victim

Justice
Justice.
CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. —

A P.E.I. woman who threw a pot of hot water and pasta at someone she was in an altercation with won’t be serving any jail time after getting a suspended sentence Wednesday.

Shelby Ann Opoku, 21, appeared before Chief Judge Nancy Orr in provincial court in Charlottetown for sentencing after previously pleading guilty to mischief and assault causing bodily harm.

Crown attorney John Diamond told the court that on Dec. 16, 2018, Opoku and the victim got into an argument, which became physical and involved pushing and shoving.

During the altercation, Opoku bent and twisted the victim’s glasses.

Diamond said that at one point, Opoku grabbed a pot with hot water and pasta in it off the stove and threw it at the victim.

The victim fell to the floor in pain, and Opoku told police she didn’t know the contents were hot until she heard the other woman cry out.

Diamond said the victim had burns on her back and down her leg that will likely leave scarring.

The court heard the victim didn’t want Opoku to go to jail and wanted her to get help.

Diamond said it was clear from a pre-sentence report that Opoku had issues she needed to deal with.

During defence submissions, lawyer Justin Milne told the court Opoku was immediately remorseful and has taken full responsibility for her actions.

The pre-sentence report detailed Opoku’s difficult history and significant mental illness, Milne said, adding she has a very good chance of full rehabilitation.

In sentencing Opoku, Orr said it was regrettable the victim will likely have scars to remind her of the incident.

Milne said the suspended sentence was a joint recommendation from the Crown and defence.

Orr said sentencing is an individual matter and the facts of Opoku’s case were such that the suspended sentence would be within the appropriate range and in the public interest.

With the suspended sentence, Opoku will be on probation for 18 months and must perform 60 hours of community service.

Opoku must also write an apology letter to the victim and has to provide a DNA sample for the national databank.

Twitter.com/ryanrross

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