Crown wants violent abuser jailed for 18 months

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He threatened to kill his ex-wife, gave his girlfriend a black eye and tried to choke a police officer.

Rodney Alexander Martin will find out next month just what kind of punishment he'll get for his violent actions.

Rodney Alexander Martin - Photo by Rosie Gillingham/The Telegram

The 46-year-old was in provincial court in St. John's today for his sentencing hearing. He pleaded guilty to a slew of charges, including uttering threats, assault, assaulting a police officer, resisting arrest and breaching court orders.

Several of the charges stem from incidents that happened on Aug. 19.

That morning, Martin walked into his ex-wife's house and threatened to kill her and her family. He demanded that she lift a peace bond, which she had taken out against him. She begged him to leave her alone and told him he needed psychiatric help.

According to the facts read in court, Martin told her, "I have a split personality — the nice side and the devil." He said the devil side would come out if she didn't lift the peace bond against him.

She said he also put his finger to his head and said, "I'm never going to jail."

Sick with fear, the woman packed up and went to a safe house. Shortly afterwards, she went to police headquarters to report what had happened.

Officers then contacted Martin and asked him to come to headquarters to talk to them. Martin was aggressive on the phone, but he eventually did come down. At first he denied being at the woman's house. Then, he said he was only there to get clothes and that she made up the whole story.

However, with enough grounds to arrest Martin, he was read his rights.

Martin grew irate and was confrontational with the officer.

"I hope to see you off duty," Martin said to the officer.

He asked where the officer lived and when he got no response, Martin said, "Don't worry. I'll find out."

When he was taken to the St. John's Lockup, Martin continued to be confrontational with officers. At one point, he grabbed one of the officers by the throat and tried to choke him. He struggled with officers and refused to put his hands behind his back. The officer then forced Martin down to the ground and restrained him.

Martin was taken to court and denied bail the following day and was ordered to have no communication with his ex-wife.

However, days later, he violated those orders by making two calls to his ex-wife. In one of the calls, he told her he was a police officer and that Mr. Martin wanted to speak to her. The woman contacted police officers, who traced the call to Her Majesty's Penitentiary.

In her victim impact statement, read by the prosecutor in court today, the woman said she lives in constant fear because of Martin.

"It's been a living hell for me. I'm constantly looking over my shoulder and fear for my safety," she wrote.

"I fear Rodney will find me and kill me. I fear the police won't have enough resources to protect me. I fear he will follow through on his threats.

"My life has been completely turned upside down."

Martin also brutally beat his girlfriend on Aug. 19. He punched her in the face several times and kneeled on her throat. He refused to let her go unless she promised she wouldn't go to court and testify against him. The woman suffered several bruises to her eye, forehead and shoulders.

During Martin's sentencing hearing, Crown prosecutor Glynne Faulkner told the judge Martin belongs in jail.

She said an 18-month prison term, with three years' probation, is an appropriate sentence, taking into account his violent behaviour and the severe impact his actions have had on his victims.

She said it doesn't matter that Martin, a real estate agent, has had a successful career or that he has a limited criminal record.

"A sentence should be proportionate to the offence and degree of responsibility," Faulkner said.

"You can't come to court (convicted of serious offences) and say 'I've got a successful career' and expect a lesser sentence."

Faulkner said domestic abuse is a serious matter, as it has serious effects on many lives.

"What we have here is a very controlling, non-compliant and domineering man," she said. "This is a picture of an individual who pretty much does what he wants, controls people and is non-compliant with the law. I don't feel full-time employment and lack of criminal record is mitigating enough to oversee all the aggravating factors."

Defence lawyer James Goodwin said 18 months in jail is unreasonable for a man who has never been in jail before. Martin's only brush with the law before this, he noted, was a conviction under the Dog Act for failing to tether a dog several years ago.

"His intention is to get help," Goodwin said of his client. "He recognizes he has a problem. Mr. Martin is going to continue with counselling."

Goodwin suggested a six-month conditional sentence, with a period of probation.

Judge Mike Madden will render his decision on sentencing Dec. 3.

Once sentenced, Martin — who has been behind bars for the last 92 days — will have to deal with several other charges of assault and uttering threats against his ex-wife, which were recently laid by police and date back to 1996.

Organizations: Martin's

Geographic location: St. John's

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Recent comments

  • Dolf
    November 19, 2013 - 14:21

    A sentencing hearing? A mere 18-months? What is this madness? Just do it! What are those judges being paid for anyway? Everybody waiting for another episode similar to the one in CBS a few weeks ago? All the earmarks are here.

  • Mr. Realistic
    November 19, 2013 - 13:21

    Nice guy..!! That's what prosperity does to people, especially those working in real estate making huge commissions off properties listed anywhere fro $300,000 into the millions. Not only is prosperity having a drastic impact on crime in St. John's but is driving the people making outrages amounts of money, crazy as well. This city is becoming a scary place to live.

    • Kent
      November 19, 2013 - 14:08

      You think being prosperous makes a person violent?? May I suggest a name change from to Mr. Delusional?

    • Shane
      November 19, 2013 - 16:28

      At one point in history there were some people that thought Hitler was realistic... just sayin'.