Man whose sister-in-law used broom to keep him away loses appeal of sex assault sentence

Accused had been trained as a soldier in Sudan, where he was born, when he was nine years old

A man who was trained as a child soldier in Sudan has lost an appeal of his sentence for sexual assault.

The 33-year-old man, whose identity is shielded by a publication ban, appealed as “unfit” a 10-month conditional sentence, two years’ probation and an 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew imposed in Surrey provincial court.

His sister-in-law was the victim.

“Essentially, his behaviour consisted of persistent unwanted advances and touching,” Justice Murray Blok noted in his reasons for judgment, at B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster.

“At times, she employed a broom to keep him away from her.”

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A psychologist concluded he is “below average risk” for future sexual offending. The court heard he is a Canadian citizen who came to Canada in 2003 at age 19 after living in a refugee camp in the Congo for five years. He had been inducted into training as a soldier in Sudan, where he was born, when he was nine years old.

He did not have a criminal record prior to this sex assault conviction.

Blok dismissed the appeal, noting there had been “not one, but a number of acts” involving “persistent behaviour over an extended period of time” and “the offender expressed no remorse, blamed the victim for the events, and spoke ill of her in the community.”

The sentence imposed, Blok found, “is not demonstrably unfit” and “falls within a range of sentences that were reasonably available to the sentencing judge.”

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