A man who threatened to kill his ex-wife, gave his girlfriend a black eye and tried to choke a police officer has been sentenced to almost 10 months in jail.
Rodney Alexander Martin was sentenced this morning in provincial court in St. John's.
The 46-year-old was given time-and-half credit for the time he's already spent in custody, leaving 4 1/2 months to serve.
"It's clear to me, you do have some issues," Judge Mike Madden said in rendering his decision.
As part of Martin's probation, he was ordered to have no contact with his ex-wife and her family.
Martin had 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, 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 assaulted 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 had suggested an 18-month prison term, with three years' probation.
She said it didn't matter that Martin, a real estate agent, has had a successful career or that he has a limited criminal record.
Defence lawyer James Goodwin had said 18 months in jail was 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.
Goodwin had suggested a six-month conditional sentence, with a period of probation.
In coming to his decision, Madden said the need for deterrence and denunciation is paramount in Martin's case.
Martin 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. He will be back in court Thursday to set trial dates for those matters.