'Excessive force' by police lightens sentence

A 68-year-old Norfolk County man who was tasered, punched and sat upon by police officers during his arrest at the Norfolk OPP detachment in April was given a lighter sentence for his crimes due to the excessive force used during his arrest.

Justice Aubrey Hilliard chastised both Michael James Sparks, who reached for a knife when police tried to arrest him, and the police in the case.

“Broken ribs and a collapsed lung requiring two weeks of hospitalization for attempting to pull a knife from his pocket, in my view, suggests the use of force options were excessive,” said Hilliard.

Assistant Crown attorney Lynette Fritzley told the court that Sparks was under investigation for “numerous offences” but police had been warned he had guns at his home, hated police, and was likely to resist arrest.

So officers contacted him by phone and asked him to come to the police station without letting him know they intended to arrest him.


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