Man who punched, choked girlfriend gets federal jail term

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Rosie Mullaley
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John Paul Ford chats with his lawyer Michelle Coady

A man who assaulted his girlfriend and was the subject of a police manhunt for several weeks in May has been given a hefty prison term.

In provincial court in St. John’s Friday, John Paul Ford was sentenced to two years plus a day.

The 41-year-old pleaded guilty to a slew of charges, including leaving the scene of an accident, assault, damaging property, making harassing phone calls, failing to appear in court, assault and breaching court orders.

He also had a number of Highway Traffic Act violations, including driving without a licence or insurance, and has more than $15,000 in unpaid fines.

The charges stem from four separate incidents.

The first incident happened

Oct. 11, 2012, when Ford was involved in a collision with another vehicle. After the accident, Ford told the man driving the other car he needed to go home to get his personal information.

He told him he’d be back. Two hours later, when Ford didn’t come back, the man called police.

After an extensive search, police found him six days later at a Mount Pearl hardware store.

The next three incidents were all committed against his former girlfriend, who he met online and had been living with.

On May 13 of this year, Ford assaulted the woman in her Conception Bay South home after an argument that continued over a couple of days.

During the heated dispute, Ford punched the woman in the head and body, choked her, pushed her, bit her ear and threatened to kill her.

While pinning her to the bed, he said to her, “You’re not so tough now, are you?”

He also damaged the house, by kicking a table and throwing an arrangement of flowers out the window.

The woman, who suffered bruising, called police, who searched for Ford for a few weeks with no luck.

During that time, Ford texted and called the woman at least 20 times and threatened her.

During one telephone conversation, he said to her, “I should’ve killed you when I had the chance. You think I’m afraid of guns and the police? See how crazy I am. I’m going to kill you.”

The sentence handed down by Judge Mike Madden was in keeping with a joint recommendation by Crown prosecutor Jennifer Colford and defence lawyer Michelle Coady.

Colford pointed out that Ford has a “significant” criminal record, with convictions for such things as assault, uttering threats, as well as a slew of breaches of court orders.

In speaking about Ford’s crimes against his former girlfriend, she said, “When a relationship is over, it’s over and you have absolutely no right to assault your partner.”

Coady said that Ford recognizes he has problems controlling his anger and that he needs to change his behaviour.

“He’s at the stage in his life now when he knows he can’t do this,” she said.

Coady said once Ford completes his jail term, he plans to live in Moncton, where he had lived before and led a crime-free life for several years.

rgillingham@thetelegram.com

Twitter: @TelyCourt

Geographic location: Mount Pearl, Conception Bay, Moncton

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Recent comments

  • M
    July 15, 2013 - 23:12

    Let me get this straight. The lawyers said, "Ford recognizes he has problems controlling his anger and that he needs to change his behaviour". Yeah right !!! They go on to say, "He’s at the stage in his life now when he knows he can’t do this." Well if he can't change his behaviour then lock him up for life and forget him. After he gets out who will he harm then. Please let make the courts work for the people, and not the criminals, especially the convicted ones.

  • Joe
    July 13, 2013 - 09:47

    I think somebody should warn Moncton... seriously...

  • Northern Pen Reside t
    July 13, 2013 - 09:39

    A hefty sentence! You got to be kidding me!! 2 years plus a day, for all of this on top of a significant criminal record is just not enough. His lawyer says that " he is at a point in his life when he knows he cannot do these things". This guy is not a juvenile or gods sake. He should have realized the implications of these types of actions many years ago, certainly after his first few run ins with the law. The justice system is a joke!

  • Dee
    July 13, 2013 - 09:38

    What a joke a hefty sentence 2 years he should have gotten 15-20 years that's a hefty sentence,this girl may have to live in fear or rest of her life.

  • lor
    July 13, 2013 - 09:38

    Put him in jail and throw away the key...he doesn't deserve a life outside a jail cell.

  • Realistic
    July 13, 2013 - 08:07

    This guy obviously has ISSUES after what he did to his partner or ex-partner. I'm curious to see if this story will get as many comments and as much publicity as the cat that was recently abused in western NL. I doubt it.