A Kamloops Mountie received a conditional discharge for assaulting a homeless man in the summer of 2017.
Const. Joedy Todd Henderson must report to a probation officer, receive counselling and complete 30 hours of community service and he will avoid a criminal record. He pled guilty to assault causing bodily harm on Dec. 6, 2018, following charges from an incident that happened on Aug. 25, 2017.
Henderson was one of several police officers who responded to an altercation between Sean Redenbach and bylaw officers. Redenbach was detained on the ground and bylaw officers were trying to get a photo for identification purposes. Judge Roy Dickey noted the officers were incorrect and did not have the right to force him to take a photo.
When Redenbach tried to shield his face with his knees, Henderson lifted him off the ground and held him by the throat. He delivered knee strikes to Redenbach when he tried to pull away. Henderson also struck his head when lowering him into the vehicle, although he said that was accidental.
Henderson suffers from PTSD following an incident in 2010, when a suspect tried to run him over with his car. He was involved with a number of stressful events around the time of the assault, including the apprehension of a hatchet-wielding suspect and believed he was "worn down."
Following an internal investigation, Henderson faced disciplinary action, including being docked 21 days pay (totalling $6,700). He went on stress leave for eight and a half months, where he sought counselling and returned to work doing traffic duty in August 2018.
In his ruling, Dickey stated the violation was out of character for Henderson, who has been a member of the RCMP for 16 years and had no prior disciplinary violations or criminal record. He also showed remorse for his actions and suffered financially.
"I find that the circumstances of this case, in spite of the breach of trust, that a conditional discharge adequately addresses the issues of deterrence and denunciation," Dickey said in his ruling. "I also find that by imposing community work hours, the necessary reparation to the community for harm caused can be a deterrent."