By Raissa Tetanish
HALIFAX - A Springhill man appealing a seven-year custodial sentence had his application dismissed in Halifax Wednesday morning.
Revere Ernest Ruddick, 55, was sentenced in November 2008 to seven years in custody, minus time deemed served, after changing his plea to guilty to one count of aggravated assault.
In his application to the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal, Ruddick, represented by new counsel on his appeal, said the jointly recommended sentence was excessive.
The written decision of Judge Bateman said Ruddick, in claiming that the sentence is excessive, is, "in effect, saying that it does not fall within an appropriate range."
It also added that Ruddick was represented by experienced counsel with two Crown attorneys in crafting the recommendation, and that there was no allegation of ineffective assistance of counsel.
Judge Bateman wrote that the maximum sentence of aggravated assault is 14 years in custody.
"In determining the range, we must consider the context of the offence committed and Mr. Ruddick's circumstances," the decision reads.
Not only did Ruddick change his plea to aggravated assault, he also changed his plea to a guilty one to one count of producing marijuana and two counts of breaching an undertaking.
"While Mr. Ruddick has isolated the sentence on the aggravated assault for appeal, where an offender is sentenced for a collection of offences, the court's overriding concern is whether the total sentence is a fit one. The division of the sentences among the offences, while not arbitrary, is somewhat secondary."
Ruddick was sentenced to one-year custody for the drug charge, and 90 days for each probation breach charge. All were to be served concurrently to the seven-year sentence for aggravated assault.
His time deemed served by time spent in remand amounted to 398 days.
In coming to the decision to dismiss the appeal, Judge Bateman wrote that Ruddick is a mature offender with a list of prior criminal convictions, from theft to drugs to sexual touching, dating back to 1972.
The written decision also describes the incident between Ruddick and the victim, Jason Daniel Casey, and the injuries that occurred.
Casey suffered deep, life threatening cuts from broken bottles on both sides of his neck, as well as severed tendons in one of his hands.
"Both counsel for the Mr. Ruddick and for the Crown have cited a number of cases in support of each position," wrote Judge Bateman. "None provide sufficient detail about the crime and the offender so as to persuade me that the total sentence here is excessive. I would find that the seven-year sentence is within the range for this crime committed by this offender.
"While the seven-year sentence is not excessive for the assault alone, when considered as a disposition for the collection of offences here, it is clearly within the range. Mr. Ruddick might well have received a consecutive sentence in excess of one year for the commercial grow op. Instead he benefited from concurrency for both the drug offence and the two breaches."
By Raissa Tetanish
Organizations: Nova Scotia CourtTop of page