The Court determined a global sentence of 19 years for an Indigenous accused who was found guilty of 6 out of 7 counts of indictment that included home invasion, sexual assault of a 14 year old, and discharge of a firearm. He has credit for remand resulting in 15.65 years to be served in a federal penitentiary, to ensure the availability of appropriate programming.
William David Angus, an Indigenous man from Thunderchild First Nation, was found guilty on six of the seven counts of the indictment, including entering the J. home with a rifle, sexually assaulting A.J., the 14-year-old, fleeing the scene, and shooting at the father, C.J., who was by then in pursuit (R v Angus, 2020 SKQB 32 [“Angus Conviction”]).
Following the conviction, an order was made for a pre-sentence report [“PSR”], with particular consideration of Gladue factors (R v Gladue,  1 SCR 688 [“Gladue”]; R v Ipeelee, 2012 SCC 13,  1 SCR 433 [“Ipeelee”]). Upon changes of counsel, and lengthy delays in receiving a Gladue Report, a report on was filed and further information was outlined in a letter from the Report writer. In her submissions, it was emphasized the impact of intergenerational abuse and the tragic circumstances of Mr. Angus’ mother’s life. The supplemental PSR, provided background regarding the day school run by the Anglican Church on Onion Lake First Nation, which Mr. Angus attended as a young child. Mr. Angus also describes a lack of a sense of home or community and a pattern of transiency. Mr. Angus’ history and personal circumstances have been extremely difficult.
The significant harm a child experiences as a result of sexual violence and a high degree of moral blameworthiness attached to sexual violence against children are aggravating factors (R v Friesen, 2020 SCC 9). Adolescent girls, such as the complainant in this case, are at particular risk for victimization. Accordingly, sentences must not be disproportionately low. A.J.’s age and the significant impact on both her and her family are also deemed aggravating factors. Further, the presence of the firearm during the assault coupled with A.J.’s young age bring s. 272(2)(a.2) of the Criminal Code into effect. This makes Mr. Angus liable “to imprisonment for life and to a minimum punishment of imprisonment for a term of five years”. An additional aggravating factor in the context of the home invasion is mandated by s. 348.1 of the Criminal Code.
Mr. Angus would benefit from the programming available in the penitentiary, but the attitude he has exhibited is concerning. In contrast, Mr. Angus was just shy of 43 years of age when the crimes for which he is now being sentenced took place. He is now 45 years old. He also has a criminal record which includes, among other things, prior convictions under s. 348(1)(b) for break and enter and commission of an indictable offence therein. Mr. Angus’ focus over the months since his conviction has been on the pursuit of a Gladue Report, even to the point of being uncooperative with the PSR writer, as noted in Angus Gladue. Mr. Angus’ failure to acknowledge both his responsibility for his actions and his need for help in addressing the underlying issues is of concern. It would be beneficial and rehabilitative for him to avail himself of programming.