WINNIPEG — A Manitoba judge is allowing a violent convicted criminal under house arrest to leave at any time provided he is accompanied by his baby sister.
Seif Ali, 21, was found guilty of aggravated assault for a violent attack outside a Winnipeg high school two years ago. He said he acted in self-defence when he delivered a “soccer-style” kick to the head of a 15-year-old boy, causing a broken jaw that had to be wired shut for six weeks.
Provincial court Judge Marva Smith rejected the Crown’s bid Wednesday for a 30-month prison term and imposed a year-long conditional sentence instead.
She said she didn’t want to put Ali in an environment filled with other criminals who could take advantage of his vulnerability.
Prosecutor Chris Vanderhooft expressed concern about the unusual exception to Ali’s curfew that allows him to go wherever he wants at any time of the day or night, provided he stays within two kilometres of his home and has his 1 1/2-year-old sibling with him.
“I’ve never seen a condition like that imposed,” Vanderhooft told the judge. Smith said it has been done before and explained that she wanted to encourage “pro-social behaviour” in Ali.
Conditions of his house arrest stipulate that he must leave a voice message with his conditional sentence supervisor every time he leaves, or returns, to the house.
He is not allowed to leave by himself at any time during the first four months, but can be away between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m. during the final eight months.
Smith said she doubted Ali would take the toddler out in the middle of the night as a means of getting out of the home.
“I’m not sure how exactly this is going to be enforced,” said Vanderhooft.
The Crown has up to 30 days to file an appeal.