Bobsledder faces assault charge

An aspiring Australian Olympian who lives and trains in Calgary is in some legal hot water.

CALGARY — An aspiring Australian Olympian who lives and trains in Calgary is in some legal hot water.

Court documents show Heath Spence, one of three brakemen with the Australian two-man bobsled team, faces charges of assaulting a police officer and resisting arrest.

Spence, 29, was charged following an Aug. 8, incident in which he allegedly scuffled with Calgary police Const. Jeremy Yule.

His roommate, Tennille Irma Wilson, 32, is also charged in the same incident for allegedly assaulting another officer, Const. Peter Healy and obstructing him, the documents say.

Defence lawyer Adriano Iovinelli appeared briefly in provincial court Friday on behalf of both accused and adjourned the case to Oct. 30.

Iovinelli told Justice of the Peace Brad Milne the resisting charge was filed after the initial assault allegation.

and his client had not been given proper notification of it.

The lawyer said the normal procedure in such a case, having the judge grant a warrant but keep it held with the court, could cause complications for his client.

“This is an athlete who does international travelling and is taking this matter very seriously,” Iovinelli said.

Iovinelli asked Milne to instead transfer the notice to appear given his client on the original charge to the new one as well, so there would be no reference to a warrant in his client’s name.

He said Spence is currently in the U.S. preparing for Olympic trials and any suggestion of a warrant might impact his ability to return to Canada.

Spence is listed as one of three brakemen on driver Christopher Spring’s two-man Australian team which finished 26th in rankings last season.

Because the Crown proceeded by summary rather than indictable offence, Spence faces a maximum punishment of six months in jail and a $5,000 fine if convicted.

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