Canada
Hockey coach who tripped boys sentenced to 15 days jail time

Martin Tremblay arrives at Provincial Court in Richmond, British Columbia, Tuesday February 26, 2013, Tremblay has been sentenced to 15 days in jail for tripping two young hockey players in June of last year. He has also been given 12 months probation.

Credits: MARINELLI/Vancouver 24hrs/QMI AGENCY

JEREMY NUTTALL | QMI AGENCY

VANCOUVER -- A former youth hockey coach was handed a 15-day major by a Richmond judge Tuesday for an assault on two boys during a post-game handshake last year.

Martin Tremblay had pleaded guilty to two counts of assault for kicking the legs out from under two boys — aged 10 and 13 — at the end of a June 2012 game between the University of BC Hornets and Richmond Steel.

The sentence was a surprise considering the Crown did not ask for jail time. He will now serve a little more than two weeks at the Surrey Pretrial Services Centre on weekends, followed by a year of probation and other conditions.

Provincial Court Judge Patrick Chen called a psychiatric assessment of Tremblay unreliable and said he believed the disgraced coach’s problems lie in anger-management issues, not medication withdrawal or exhaustion as argued by the defence. Tremblay was sentenced on another assault charge against an employer two months before the hockey incident.

“It is necessary in my view to express society will not tolerate assaults against children,” Chen told the court.

Chen pointed out Tremblay had taunted the youngster during the game and, at one point, even told a parent who objected to the jabs he was “trying to get him off his game.” The boy eventually broke down in tears. Chen likened the taunts that culminated in the assault to a “cowardly sucker punch,” adding they played a role in handing Tremblay jail time.

“Children’s parents have the right to expect people in charge will keep their kids safe,” said Chen, who also admonished the opposing coach for contributing to the situation.

Tremblay was taken into custody after sentencing, but outside of court his lawyer Bob Bellows told reporters the sentence would not be appealed.

He said Tremblay has lost work, his marriage and will likely never coach again because of the incident, and will now serve his 15-day sentence on weekends while trying to regain control over his personal matters.

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