Jail cell bars

Jail cell bars

A Brantford man with significant alcohol and mental health issues was given a nine-month sentence for multiple offences last summer.

Scott Charles Lawrence Ransome, 50, pleaded guilty to five charges ranging from impaired driving to sexual assault, all committed while he was drinking heavily.

“The fact that you continue to drink up until today is a red flag,” said Justice Robert Gee as he sentenced the man.

“Obviously it’s been some time since these offences occurred and you didn’t utilize that time to take steps to stop drinking. It leaves me with the impression that you’re going to continue to drink and continue to have issues.”

On June 4 last year, Ransome went to a relative’s home on White Owl Crescent with a couple of cans of beer. While there, he drank his beers, plus another eight, and picked a fight with a family member late at night.

Ransome went on a rampage after he was locked out of the house, trying to force his way in through the front and back doors, throwing a metal chair at the family car and breaking a back patio light.

When he got in his car to leave, family members called police.

Alerted to where Ransome was heading, the police saw him driving through stop signs and swerving before passing his own home, parking on the wrong side of the road and throwing his keys in the air.

At the police station, his blood-alcohol readings were 219 and 222, more than two-and-a-half times the legal limit.

A month later, police were called to a Ponytrail Drive home where Ransome was holding a beer in one hand and a knife in the other.

As a constable tried to negotiate a peaceful surrender, Ransome said he would slit the officer’s throat and cut off his fingers.

A week later, Ransome was at a birthday party and, while drunk, fondled the genitals of a young child in front of an adult. Later he assaulted an adult.

Assistant Crown attorney Larry Brock said the incident seemed to make Ransome “finally reflect on where his life is going.”

“He was substantially intoxicated at the time of this offence. It’s clear mental health issues and alcohol have taken control of his life,” said Brock.

Brock also noted Ransome was willing to accept responsibility and get counselling for his actions. He suggested a sentence that was three months higher than the minimum.

Ransome’s defence lawyer, Dale Henderson, said his client has a long-time problem with alcohol and drinks to the point of intoxication.

“As to the sexual assault, this wasn’t a case of grooming. It was a case of alcohol-fueled stupidity.”

Henderson explained some of Ransome’s mental health issues, which led to a suicide attempt.

Ransome told the judge there is no excuse for his behaviour.

“I got in my car and I drove. I don’t go around diddling kids. I don’t do that. I tried to kill myself and was tazed down a flight of stairs and broke seven ribs. That’s all I have to say.”

For his guilty pleas on driving impaired, assault, sexual assault, disobeying a court order and threatening death or bodily harm, Gee sentenced Ransome to nine months in jail, a three-year probation, a $1,500 fine for driving impaired and the loss of his licence for a year. He’ll also have to submit a sample of his DNA for the national offenders databank and go on the sexual offenders list for 10 years.

During probation, Ransome is not to have or own weapons and must get counselling for anger management, alcohol abuse and sexually offending behaviour.

He can’t be at a public park, swimming area or daycare or be in a position of authority or trust with anyone under 16 years of age.

“You can continue to be angry, upset and blame others for where you’re standing today,” said Gee, “but you’re the only one who can affect change.”

Source: The Brantford Expositor