Man jailed for domestic assault
St. Catharines Courthouse
A Niagara Falls man, who claimed steroids might have contributed to his behaviour, has been sentenced to 90 days in jail for a domestic assault.
Bernie Defilippis, 52, who was already on probation for a prior assault on a different victim, appeared in an Ontario Court of Justice in St. Catharines on Wednesday and entered a guilty plea to a charge of assault. The incident took place on Sept. 2.
Assistant Crown attorney Stacey Sheehan said Defilippis is employed at a chemical company in Niagara Falls and he was on probation for another assault at the time of this incident.
Court heard Defilippis and the victim had attended the Welland courthouse to file papers for her divorce from her previous husband. One of the documents that was required was the woman’s marriage certificate, but it had been forgotten at home.
On the trip to get the documents, the couple got into an argument. Defilippis accused the woman of forgetting the marriage certificate on purpose because she wanted to remain married. He also made a comment about hurting the woman’s children.
The woman was struck and she received a swollen lip. The woman became hysterical but managed to get out of the vehicle. She obtained help from another motorists and police were called.
Sheehan said Defilippis has a domestic-related record dating back to 2011 but it relates to two other partners.
Defence lawyer Ken Byers said steroids might have played a factor but his client has stopped using them. He noted Defilippis has already taken part in some counselling.
Judge Fred Forsyth sentenced Defilippis to 90 days in jail, which he will be able to serve on the weekend. That will be followed by three years of probation with terms that include not to have any contact with the victim unless she provides written consent. He is also prohibited from owning any weapons or firearms for 10 years.
The judge also reminded Defilippis about the dangers faced by professional athletes who have been involved with steroids. He also warned him about breaching any terms in the probation order because it could result in a further jail sentence.