SAULT STE. MARIE, Ont. -- A judge gave a commercial fisherman the option Monday of donating 200 pounds of fish to Batchewana First Nation as part of his probation.
Ian Agawa, 31, pleaded guilty to two counts of assault and three counts of threatening stemming from a July 27 incident at Goulais Mission.
Crown attorney Bill Johnson and defence counsel Lindsay Marshall jointly recommended that Agawa receive a suspended sentence and probation with conditions that included 50 hours of community service.
Agawa asked if he could donate 200 pounds of fish to the First Nation’s elders or make a monetary donation to the women’s shelter, because he’s away from the community fishing most of the time.
The fish is valued at about $1,000, he told Ontario Court Justice Melanie Dunn.
Johnson indicated he was agreeable to a donation.
When Dunn placed Agawa on probation for 18 months she gave him the choice of doing the hours or giving fish to the First Nation. He must provide proof of the donation to his probation officer.
The court heard he assaulted and threatened to kill a couple, and burn their house down.
The family was having a barbeque when one of their daughters noticed Agawa standing nearby and staring at the couple’s son-in-law, clenching his fists.
When the complainant went outside and told Agawa to leave, he called her a “f---ing white b--ch,” and told her “she was on Indian land, (that) this was his land,” Johnson said.
He pushed her, grabbed her finger and put up his fists, saying she was “in for it” and he’d “burn down the place or whatever it takes.”
When she pushed back, Agawa hit her in the jaw and face.
Her husband, who was on dialysis, tried to get in between them and Agawa struck him in the chest.
He then said he was going choke him and grabbed the man by the neck.
Other people intervened and got Agawa off the property. He left in a vehicle, but returned a short time later. He said he was “going to burn us down or shoot us up,” the woman told police.
Agawa told the judge he “was really sorry that it came down to this and I have to be here.”
He said he has little recollection of the incident, but remembers waking up in a cell.
“I know I have an alcohol problem. I’m working on it,” he said, adding he hasn’t drank since the attacks.