It started with throwing snowballs at cars. It included a trip to a plastic surgeon to repair injuries to a boy’s face. And it ended with a 42-year-old Nova Scotia man getting 15 months of house arrest for what a judge described as “an ugly incident of vigilante justice.”
The snowballs were thrown on the evening of Jan. 20, 2012 by three boys aiming at vehicles passing by a car dealership in Lower Sackville, N.S.
According to court documents, one of the snowballs struck and damaged the windshield of a passing jeep. The driver went home and told her boyfriend what had happened. He was sitting at home drinking beer and whisky and watching UFC fights on pay-per-view.
When he heard about the damage to his girlfriend’s jeep, he and two of his friends took off in their own vehicle. They caught up to two boys walking in the area of the snowball attack.
According to the decision by Judge Theodore Tax, the man ran after one of the boys and struck him in the knees with a baseball bat.
He then straddled the fallen youth and landed about eight punches. He followed that with several kicks. The boy — whose identity is protected by a publication ban — required plastic surgery to repair the acute blowout fracture to a bone under his left eye.
The case took a long time to come to trial because the first defence lawyer the man hired ended up losing his licence to practise, twice.
The Crown had been arguing for a jail term. But in the end, the judge said the house arrest, followed by probation, was suitable punishment for a case that has lingered for so many years.