House arrest for man who threw gravel at Trudeau

time:2023-06-05 15:45:06 source:Al Jazeera

A Canadian man who threw gravel at Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during a 2021 election campaign has been sentenced to 90 days of house arrest and 12 months of probation.

The Ontario court also ordered that Shane Marshall cannot be within 100 metres of the prime minister.

Marshall was associated with an anti-vaccine mandate political party protesting against Mr Trudeau's covid-19 policies.

He pleaded guilty to common assault.

During a campaign stop in September 2021 in London, Ontario, Mr Trudeau was met by protesters who were opposed to Covid-19 vaccine mandates and other restrictions.

Marshall, a former official with the People's Party of Canada, was among them.

As the prime minister was returning to his bus, Marshall threw a handful of gravel at him though Mr Trudeau was not injured.

Calling the assault a "manifestation of mob mentality", Justice Kevin McHugh said that "acts of violence against our public figures are anti-democratic and need to be denounced in the strongest terms".

In addition to probation and house arrest, the judge on Monday also ordered Marshall, 26, to undergo counselling.

During closing arguments last week, Marshall's defence lawyer argued that his client had no prior criminal record and that he was dealing with anger management issues when he threw the gravel at Mr Trudeau.

"The act of throwing stones was impulsive," said lawyer Luke Reidy. "Shane Marshall understands what he did was wrong."

Mr Reidy suggested that Marshall be handed a one-year suspended sentence and mandatory community service.

The Crown's lawyer, however, argued that Marshall's actions were an assault on Canada's democratic institutions, and had requested that he serve 30 days in jail.

Marshall was originally charged with assault with a weapon, but pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of common assault in March.

He had apologised "to everyone" for his actions in court, though he did not address Mr Trudeau specifically.

Shortly after the incident, Mr Trudeau said the actions of the protesters at his campaign event were "absolutely unacceptable".

"Nobody should be doing their jobs under the threats of violence or acts that put them in danger," he said.

The incident was also denounced by Mr Trudeau's opponent and Conservative leader at the time, Erin O'Toole, who described it as "disgusting".

Another election rally for Mr Trudeau was cancelled in August 2021 after a crowd of angry protesters ambushed the event.

Mr Trudeau and his Liberal party were re-elected to a minority government in October 2021.

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