Man to be sentenced next month for bear-spraying incident

Rosie Mullaley
Published on February 19, 2014

A man who doused another man with bear spray will find out next month how long he’ll spend behind bars.

The Crown wants Jerry Joshua Kinsella to be jailed for eight to 11 months. The defence wants a 90-day sentence to be served on weekends. Judge Lori Marshall will decide on March 6.

Kinsella was in provincial court in St. John’s Tuesday as lawyers presented their arguments on sentencing.

The 22-year-old, who is not in custody, was found guilty of assault with a weapon as a result of an incident that happened January of last year.

Kinsella went to the victim’s house on Bay Bulls Road, where a heated argument ensued between them.

The man had testified that the meeting was to discuss a drug deal, something Kinsella denied.

The argument led to a physical altercation, during which Kinsella sprayed the man with bear spray. The man was in such pain, he jumped in the shower with his clothes on in an attempt to flush out his eyes. Kinsella testified during the trial that he used the spray to defend himself against the man, who was assaulting him.

Prosecutor Danny Vavasour said a longer prison term was warranted, since Kinsella seemed to have little remorse for what he did.

Kinsella’s lawyer, James Goodwin, pointed out there was no lasting damage to the victim, who didn’t require a stay in hospital. While Kinsella has a criminal record that includes drug trafficking and breaches of court orders, he said he has not been convicted of any violent crimes before.

He asked the judge to consider allowing Kinsella to serve an intermittent sentence on weekends to allow him to continue working as a journeyman.

When Kinsella was given the chance to speak, he said, “I apologize for what I’ve done. I just want to move on with my life. I want to start a new life and hopefully I’ll never be back here again.”

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