For the third time, Corey McArthur a Canadian police officer faced an assault charge this week. The officer was previously found guilty in 2010 and got away with an unconditional discharge, leaving him with no criminal record. In 2014 he was charged again with assault causing bodily harm, but he got away lightly yet again when the charge was withdrawn.
In 2010, Justice Elliott Allen convicted McArthur of assault in connection with a charge laid over the officer’s behaviour in a downtown bar disturbance call in 2008. McArthur was granted an absolute discharge and later pleaded guilty to discreditable conduct under the Ontario Police Services Act and had to work 10 days without pay as his penalty.
In December 2012, McArthur was charged with assault causing bodily harm, stemming from a complaint from a private citizen. This charge was later withdrawn by the Crown in 2014 — the court was told there was no reasonable grounds for conviction.
This time around McArthur pled guilty to “simple assault” and the prosecution is seeking a suspended sentence with probation, which would leave him with a criminal record. However, the defence is seeking a conditional discharge which would mean if McArthur stayed out of trouble for three years he’d have no criminal record.
McArthur, supported in the courtroom by family and several fellow officers, declined to speak when given the opportunity by the judge.
“He didn’t even apologize when given the chance by a judge, what does that tell you about McArthur’s character?”, said a Guelph woman that wanted to remain anonymous. “Not even an apology for his vicious attack, it’s disgusting, he’s disgusting and you can bet your life he’ll get away with it. The police here always do, the entire justice system in Canada is corrupt.”, she said.
The veteran Guelph police officer says PTSD was to blame for his 2016 assault on the 17-year-old youth, who was handcuffed to a hospital bed at the time. He claims the PTSD was primarily caused by the death of a fellow police officer in 2013, the Guelph court heard Thursday.
In the video the officer can be seen delivering a vicious elbow strike to the head of the teen on Sept. 19, 2016, in a safe room in the Guelph General Hospital emergency department. The elbow strike resulted in a 3.5 centimetre cut below the victim’s eye that required stitches.
Charges were only laid after hospital staff reviewed video of the incident and notified police. Another Guelph resident said “Why weren’t other Guelph cops charged for failing to report the offense?”.
Prosecutor Michael Carnegie called the incident “cringe-worthy” after video of the incident was shown in court. “The public expects that when an individual is placed in police custody, that, however difficult, that individual will be kept safe,” Carnegie said.
Thursday was the first time details of the assault have been heard in public.
Sentencing will take place on September 27, 2018 and we’ll find out if McArthur gets off lightly again with yet another assault or whether a more appropriate sentence is given.
A video of the assault went viral today on LiveLeak, after being featured there.