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The wife of Hells Angel member Joseph Bruce Skreptak wiped away tears after he was sentenced to 26 months in jail for an “unprovoked” assault on another man.
The sentencing Tuesday came some six months after Skreptak pleaded guilty to the aggravated assault of the father of a boy he believed had stolen and pawned $10,000 worth of his jewellery.
On Nov. 1, 2010, Skreptak went to the homes of two boys—who were friends of his stepson—to confront them about the missing items.
Skreptak claimed in a letter to the court that he approached the boys—rather than go to police—to “give them a chance to come clean” and to get the parents’ help in preventing the teens from returning to his house, said
Justice Allan Betton.
However, Betton noted Skreptak took several men with him on the trips as a “show of force.”
“These are not, in my view, the markings of the intention described by Mr. Skreptak,” said Betton. “The accused’s response….was to act more in the form of a vigilante.”
Skreptak, the court heard, confronted the second boy in the presence of his father and at one point struck the father multiple times in the face, resulting in many facial fractures that required reconstructive
It is not clear if Skreptak committed the assault to intimidate the boys, who knew he was a Hells Angel, or if Skreptak hit the father because he was “lipping” him off, the court concluded.
“Either scenario, it was a serious and unprovoked assault with serious consequences,” said Betton.
Skreptak’s known membership in the Hells Angels became an issue at sentencing, with the Crown arguing it was a “tool of intimidation” and the defence saying it had little relevance.
However, Betton ruled Skreptak’s nine-year membership with the organization was relevant, as the fact that he was a member of the Hells Angels formed part of the “matrix” of the facts of the case and led to the boys
being placed in witness protection.
His membership was also a negative factor in considering his character, the justice added. However, Betton also noted Skreptak has no previous criminal record, a solid work history, a positive upbringing
and is himself a family man.
During earlier sentencing submissions, Crown sought a three year jail term, while defence asked for 18-24 months, with credit for time spent on bail and enhanced credit for time spent in custody prior to
Betton rejected the requests for extra credit, and only acknowledged the 112 days Skreptak spent in custody prior to Tuesday’s sentencing.
Those days will be deducted from the 26 month sentence Betton handed down.
As well, Skreptak was given a 10 year firearms prohibition and must provide a sample of his DNA.
By Cheryl Wierda, Capital News contributor