Man with violent history given maximum sentence for assault

A man whose alcohol-fuelled rages have made him a frequent visitor in criminal court has been given the maximum sentence for breaching release conditions and lashing out at police officers.

A man whose alcohol-fuelled rages have made him a frequent visitor in criminal court has been given the maximum sentence for breaching release conditions and lashing out at police officers.

John Profeit, 34, was arrested early in February by Red Deer RCMP investigating reports of an intoxicated man assaulting a woman in a city residence.

Profeit, who has been in custody since then, went before Judge Jim Mitchell in Red Deer provincial court on Wednesday, charged with assault, assaulting a police officer and breaching conditions of a recognizance.

Profeit pleaded guilty to assaulting a police officer and breaching conditions, with the assault charge dismissed because RCMP were not able to track down the woman he was alleged to have attacked.

Court heard that although Profeit was so drunk he was barely able to speak or stand, he was belligerent with police who came to investigate the complaint and he tried kicking through the bars of the security window after being placed in a police car. He calmed down briefly after being placed in a cell, but tensed up again and then charged the door as it was being closed.

No officers were injured.

After hearing recommendations from the Crown and defence, Mitchell sentenced Profeit to six months in custody on each of the two charges, to be served concurrently, with six months credit for the eight months he spent in pre-trial custody.

Mitchell told the man he has difficulty believing his impassioned statements about the efforts he has made to manage his addiction and the violent behaviours that result from his drinking, including reports of weekly counselling sessions with a church minister and the offers of support from his community, mother and fiancée.

“I’ve met you (in court) a number of times over the years. I have to say, I’ve heard this before,” said Mitchell.

While acknowledging Profeit’s guilty plea and his comment that he is actively reaching out for help for the first time in his life, Mitchell said he still feels skeptical about the sincerity of his comments.

“Your record is clearly and simply one of the worst I’ve ever encountered, and I’ve been in the criminal law business for over four decades. I can’t recall anything as severe as this,” said Mitchell.

He then cited a record of assault and weapons charges dating back to 1990, including only one year in which Profeit was not convicted of any charges.

Mitchell went on to state that he finds Profeit to be “pleasant, articulate and seemingly quite intelligent” in court.

“(However) I wouldn’t want to be anywhere near you when you are under the influence.”

He recommended that Profeit take heed to the support offered to him, suggesting that he might have more success in his ancestral home in the Yukon than “on the mean streets of Central Alberta.”

Profeit remains in custody pending the outcome of a trial to be held on Nov. 7 on charges of aggravated assault, assault with a weapon and mischief.

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