A repeat offender who has twice spat on RCMP officers while being arrested and last summer exposed himself to a teenage convenience store clerk is back in jail.
George Allukpik, 38, of Yellowknife, was sentenced by NWT Territorial Court Judge Garth Malakoe on Thursday to 60 days in jail for exposing himself to the girl, who was under 16.
That will be followed by six months of house arrest for two counts of assaulting a peace officer on May 21 outside the Yellowknife Women’s Centre on Franklin Avenue.
He spat at one officer and kicked at another after they responded to a complaint about the intoxicated Allukpik causing a disturbance.
Allukpik will then be on supervised probation for one year.
Crown prosecutor Simon Hodge opposed having Allukpik serve the police assault sentence in the community as his criminal record is “extended, as well as related.”
“It is a disgusting thing to spit in someone’s face,” said Hodge, who had asked that Allukpik spend five months behind bars for assaulting the officers.
“The Crown’s view is that in this case a conditional sentence is not appropriate, as it does not sufficiently deal with [the] principles of sentencing, particularly denunciation and deterrence, and also for protection of the public.”
Defence lawyer Lyndon Stanzell argued his client is cognitively impaired from a childhood brain injury, a situation aggravated by alcohol.
“He is not somebody who has a history of offences like [the sex crime], there’s nothing to suggest that he specifically sought out a young person … in advance to expose himself to. [She] just happened to be working,” said Stanzell, adding two other adults witnessed Allukpik fondling his genitals and making lewd comments to the girl.
A conditional sentence, said Stanzell, “would allow him to continue the rehabilitative steps that he’s been taking on his own accord, through counselling and substance use management … and allow him to continue part-time work and be a productive member of society.”
Stanzell noted Allukpik had an upbringing marred by alcohol and violence in Nunavut. As a toddler, he fell on a pile of construction lumber. A nail sticking out of a board pierced his ear and did some damage to his brain.
“Mr Allukpik sometimes has a sense of paranoia, where he thinks people will be saying things or inferring things about him when in fact they may not be,” the lawyer said.
“I would ask the court to consider what is being achieved by sending someone like an Indigenous person with those circumstances, with fairly limited capacities, to jail for a lengthy period?”
Stanzell said his client acknowledges that when he spat at one officer and kicked at another, “he was highly intoxicated at the time – he doesn’t remember the offence.”
In exchange for Allukpik’s guilty plea, charges of invitation to sexual touching, resisting a peace officer, and two court order violations were dropped.
His criminal record includes 18 administration of justice convictions, including counts of obstructing police, and nine convictions for violence, five of which are assaults against peace officers.
The last two of those assaults occurred in March 2020 and involved officers being spat upon.
‘Jail has not done anything’
Allukpik is now in a living situation with strong supports and has been attending counselling sessions at the Tree of Peace Friendship Centre, the court heard.
“Mr Allukpik’s conduct must be denounced. It is beyond question that his actions are contrary to the communal values of Canadians,” said Judge Malakoe.
“The welfare of children and young people of our community must be safeguarded. And a strong message needs to be communicated through the courts that such conduct will not be followed.
“But clearly, jail has not done anything for him in the past. This conditional sentence order has the advantage that it puts the burden on Mr Allukpik – if he behaves well and shows that he’s following the conditions … he’ll stay out of jail, and he’ll be able to maintain what appears to be some progress in his addictions and contributing to the society that he lives in.”
To avoid being sent to jail under the conditional sentence order, Allukpik must stay at home for the first four months unless for specific reasons such as medical or court appointments or part-time construction work. For the last two months he will be under a nighttime curfew but can be outside on his property during the day.
He can’t consume alcohol or enter licensed premises, nor can he be near the convenience store or communicate with the clerk who was working on the day of the earlier incident.
He must provide a DNA sample and continue to observe a five-year firearms ban he received two years ago. Allukpik will be on the national sex offenders’ registry for 10 years.
Allukpik spent four days in custody, so he had six days of pre-trial custody taken off his initial two-month jail sentence.