Saudi man returning to home country

Rosie Mullaley
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Cites cultural differences; agrees to return as part of his sentence for assaulting daughter

A Saudi Arabian man who tried to choke his daughter in St. John’s last week is no longer in this province.

Khalaf Alshaek. — Telegram file photo

Two hours after Khalaf Alshaek was sentenced in provincial court, the 56-year-old was flying back to his home country.

Leaving Canada was part of the conditions of his sentence, handed down Tuesday morning by Judge Jim Walsh.

The judge gave Alshaek six days’ time served and a year’s probation.

He must not communicate with his daughter and her Newfoundland-born husband — either directly or indirectly — as one of the conditions of his probation.

Alshaek had pleaded guilty to assaulting his 30-year-old daughter and threatening to kill her.

He was arrested Thursday night after a violent outburst when his daughter told him she wanted to marry a man from this province.

Alshaek, his daughter and the man were at at Ches’s Fish ‘n’ Chips on Freshwater Road in St. John’s. When the woman asked her father for approval to marry, Alshaek became angry and left.

What Alshaek didn’t know was that his daughter had secretly married the man three days before, but was too fearful of her father to admit it.

Shortly after the blowup at Ches’s, the family gathered at the house where they were staying on LeMarchant Road. There, Alshaek attacked his daughter three times, wrapping his hands around her neck. He said believed his daughter, who had always been quiet and shy, was being disobedient.

The daughter was left with marks on her neck and feared her father would kill her. She texted her husband, asking him to call the police, and her father was taken into custody.

When he testified, Alshaek told the judge such actions are “an acceptable form of discipline” in his country. He insisted he meant no harm, but was trying to prevent his daughter from making a mistake and shaming the family by marrying without their consent.

Alshaek — who has lived in St. John’s for the past three years — spoke in court with the help of a translator.

He said if he had known his daughter was already married, he would not have reacted the way he did. He said his actions were an attempt to prevent her from making a mistake.

He said in Saudi Arabia, it’s the parents’ duty to discipline their children if they do anything inappropriate.

Crown prosecutor Danny Murphy had recommended a three-month jail term for Alshaek, with a year’s probation.

Defence lawyer Rosellen Sullivan told the judge that Alshaek came to St. John’s — with his wife and some of his 10 children — to chaperone  his daughter, who is attending Memorial University on a scholarship.

She said what his daughter did was considered disrespectful in his country, and his actions were meant as a preventative measure.

She said Alshaek has the support of the Saudi Arabian government, which provided plane tickets for him and his family.

Alshaek was emotional before proceedings Tuesday.

Walsh pointed out “the conviction will serve to protect the public,” as it will flag Alshaek if he tries to get back into the country.

As a condition of Alshaek’s departure, the judge insisted that an embassy representative be present in court to ensure he is escorted back to Saudi Arabia.

A representative was on hand Tuesday and assured the judge he would escort Alshaek part of the way, and that another representative would be with him for the rest of the three-day trip.

Twitter: @TelyCourt

Geographic location: Canada, Newfoundland, Freshwater Road LeMarchant Road Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia.A

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Recent comments

  • pts
    March 27, 2014 - 09:42

    [Telegram wrote] "...Alshaek came to St. John’ chaperone his daughter..." Why does a 30 year-old woman need a chaperone?

  • Elizabeth
    March 26, 2014 - 09:27

    Send him to Australia. They do not put up with any of that nonsense. If they want to continue with their way of living......go back home.

  • Morris
    March 26, 2014 - 08:26

    Well done, Judge Walsh. A good decision that benefits are parties, including the tax payer. I am however surprised that the legal condition of leaving Canada was imposed since the removal of visitors to Canada appears to fall under Federal Immigration enforcement area, not provincial court judges. Also Immigration enforcement/ CBSA would normally take action against a visitor convicted of assault and seek a deportation order or other removal order, even when the person agrees to depart voluntarily. The provincial court condition of voluntary departure effectively nullifies probation and the condition that he have no contact with his daughter and her husband because he will be residing outside Canada and not enforceable. Did the court in this case circumvent Immigration enforcement 's right to deport and thereby have an official record of an immigration violation? An immigration conviction along with a criminal code conviction would have had more serious consequences for this person. This I suspect is the reason why there was a fast guilty plea and voluntary removal, with the aid of the Saudi government. Its all a little suspicious to me. Would an American convicted of assault in the same circumstances be simply allowed to return to the US?

  • BW
    March 26, 2014 - 07:18

    Good riddance

    • Robert
      March 27, 2014 - 16:55

      My exact words! This should be standard procedure for anyone from another country committing any crime in Canada! Why should taxpayers be left feeding the likes of this!