That’s a rap

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King sentenced to two months for weekend skirmish with police

The man who once used a self-composed rap to offer a courtroom apology took a different approach Thursday morning shortly before he was sentenced to 66 days in jail.

Matthew King

Matthew Paul David King, 24, pleaded guilty to assaulting a police officer, resisting arrest and diverting suspicion by giving a false name. A charge of failing to comply with a probation order was withdrawn.

King was apologetic Thursday, telling those inside a St. John's courtroom he was trying to put his life back together and make a new start. When police pulled over the vehicle he was in early Saturday morning in Topsail, King panicked.

According to the agreed statement of facts, King was a passenger in a vehicle driven by his girlfriend. Royal Newfoundland Constabulary officers were told King was someone else. However, officers were aware of his identity and learned Correctional Service Canada had issued a warrant for his arrest.

He was asked to step out of the vehicle. Police told him he was under arrest. It was at this point that King lunged at one of the officers. His sweater came off, and King ran towards the woods. Officers eventually found him hiding under a patio.

King was sentenced in 2012 to 24 months in prison for a violent assault and a hit-and-run. At that time, he offered an apology by reciting a rap he wrote called “Forgiveness.” His unconventional approach to addressing the court made news headlines.

Crown prosecutor Natalie Payne requested a six-month sentence Thursday and two years’ probation for King, who has been out on parole for six months. Defence lawyer Peter Kearsey suggested a 21-day sentence was more appropriate.

Judge Pamela Goulding issued concurrent 60-day sentences for resisting arrest and assaulting a police officer, plus 15 days for providing a false name. King received time-and-a-half credit for the six days he spent in custody following his arrest, leaving 66 days in total to serve.

Given that King will be subject to three years’ probation upon release stemming from his conviction in 2012, Goulding felt there was no need for additional probation.

Organizations: Correctional Service Canada

Geographic location: St. John's

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