‘He wants to be the one in control’

Rosie
Rosie Gillingham
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Former real estate agent jailed for violence against women, police

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

Rodney Alexander Martin is led into provincial court in St. John’s Tuesday to hear the judge’s sentencing decision. — Photo by Rosie Gillingham/The Telegram

Now, a man the judge considered to be threatening and controlling will be confined to a jail cell, at least until the spring.

Rodney Alexander Martin — a former successful St. John’s real estate agent — was sentenced to almost 10 months in jail Tuesday at provincial court.

The 46-year-old was given 1.5 times credit for the period he’s already spent in custody, leaving 4 1/2 months on his term.

Once he’s released, he’ll serve three years’ probation, with conditions that include he have no contract or communication with his ex-wife and her family members.

In handing down his decision, Judge Mike Madden took into consideration the fact that Martin is a first-time offender.

However, he said Martin’s offences were so serious and his actions so alarming, they warranted  incarceration.

“There are cases in which the need for denunciation and deterrence is so prevalent, it’s the only suitable way to curb the offender’s behaviour,” Madden said.

Martin had pleaded guilty to multiple 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 she had taken out against him.

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 get the peace bond lifted.

She said he put his finger to his head and said, “I’m never going to jail.”

Sick with fear, she fled to a safe house. Shortly afterwards, she went to police headquarters to report what had happened.

“She was so terrified of him, she went into hiding with her family, essentially,” the judge said.

When Martin was arrested, he became irate and was confrontational with the officer. “I hope to see you off-duty,” he said to the officer.

He then asked where the officer lived and when he got no response, Martin said, “Don’t worry. I’ll find out.”

He continued to be confrontational with officers at the St. John’s Lockup. At one point, he grabbed one officer by the throat and tried to choke him. He struggled with guards and refused to put his hands behind his back. The officer then forced Martin to the floor and restrained him.

Madden called the incident “alarming and dangerous” and said it showed Martin’s dominating nature.

“He wants to be the one in control,” the judge said.

After Martin was arrested, he was taken to court and denied bail the next day. He was ordered to have no communication with his ex-wife.

However, days later, he violated those orders by making two calls to her.

Martin also assaulted his girlfriend, Kimberley Godfrey, on Aug. 19. He punched her in the face several times and knelt on her throat. He refused to let her go unless she promised she wouldn’t go to court and testify against him. The woman sustained bruises to her eye, forehead and shoulders.

Godfrey was in court for Martin’s sentencing. Afterwards, she told reporters Martin was innocent.

She said she fabricated the story about Martin assaulting her because she had been upset with him at the time for reasons she wouldn’t say.

“Nothing happened,” said Godfrey, who said she had been drinking when she was interviewed by the police.

“We were just horsing around. … He hit me purely by accident. For some reason, I had a black eye. …

“If Mr. Martin was to hit me, I would surely hit him back,” she added with a chuckle.

During Martin’s sentencing hearing two weeks ago, Crown prosecutor Glynne Faulkner had recommended an 18-month prison term, with defence lawyer James Goodwin suggesting a six-month conditional sentence.

As part of Martin’s probation, he must get counselling, particularly  relating to anger management and domestic violence.

“You’re going to be on the radar of the authorities for a very long time,” Madden told Martin.

He said he hoped Martin was sincere in his attempts to get treatment for his issues.

“I’ll be glad to attend any course, Your Honour,” Martin replied.

Meanwhile, Martin has 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.

Martin will be back in court Thursday to have a trial date set on those charges.

 

 

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