London Community News
A man who pleaded guilty to damaging a CTV news van during the Fleming Drive riot has been sentenced to five months house arrest.
Jason Guillemette, 22, received an eight-month conditional sentence including five months of house arrest and 15 months probation. He is to complete 50 hours of community service, keep the peace, wear an electronic location device, abstain from alcohol and drugs and either find work or return to school.
He pleaded guilty to willful destruction of property and unlawful assembly.
Guillemette had informally withdrawn from his studies at Fanshawe College in January 2012 but was still technically a student when the St. Patrick Day riot occurred. He was formally banned from the college after the incident.
Justice Jonathon C. George wrote in his ruling “Guillemette’s conduct rose above and beyond simply being a part of a mob. He did not just passively watch others.”
George wrote that watching a DVD of the riot he saw Guillemette try to throw a piece of fencing at a police SUV before he struck and helped overturn the CTV van.
“The only qualification to this is, apparently his hands were not actually on the van as it flipped over,” George wrote. “This point is of little consequence and not much turns on it.”
He said the unlawfully assembled group engaged in destructive behaviour, which “put police officers and other members of the public at risk. This episode represents a black mark on not only Mr. Guillemette, and others who were charged and present, but unfortunately it is a stain on the Fanshawe College community, and indeed the City of London.”
The judge described Guillemette as a “follower,” diagnosed with learning disabilities that have impacted his studies and his career pursuits.
“He could not be properly described as a ‘ring leader,’” George wrote, concluding that his behaviour rated slightly above the “middle range” of severity in the mob, as he actively participated in the destruction of property, but stopped short of the more severe behaviour of others which merited charges of assaulting police officers.