By Keith Lacey
A first-time offender who pulled a knife on a young man he accused of stealing beer from him was spared a jail sentence, but warned he won't be so lucky if he reverts to violence in the future.
Ronald Young, 20, pleaded guilty to assault with a weapon last week and was given 18 months of probation. He was also prohibited from owning or possessing any firearm or prohibited weapon, including a knife, for three years and told not to have any association with his victim.
Court heard Young was drinking with a bunch of young friends at a Minnow Lake apartment complex last Aug. 18.
Young approached his victim in the lobby of an apartment unit, pulled out a knife and threatened the young man with violence alleging he'd stole some beer from him.
Assistant Crown attorney Fran Howe said Young never used the knife in a threatening manner, but the potential for serious violence was high and a long period of probation and weapons prohibition is needed to act as a deterrent to Young and others.
Justice William Fitzgerald said Young deserves a second chance, but made it clear he's going to jail next time he commits an offence involving violence of any kind.
"If you pull a knife on someone, you had better be prepared to give up your freedom, it's simple as that," said Fitzgerald.
The veteran judge then asked Young "do we understand each other?"