Cornwall man gets suspended sentence for hurting dog in fit of anger

The Cornwall courthouse at 29 Second Street West. (Newswatch Group/File)

CORNWALL – A Cornwall man has been given a suspended sentence and is required to perform 80 hours of community service after being convicted of an isolated case of animal abuse.

Tyrone Lamoureux, 32, was sentenced Wednesday by Judge Deborah Kinsella in a Cornwall court. He was convicted at trial on a single count of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal.

Lamoureux was charged in May 2018 after the Cornwall Police Service said a man had choked his dog.

While the Crown and the defendant agreed on the suspended sentence, the issue of whether Lamoureux could have animals in the future was a sticking point.

“There needs to be in my view, with a criminal charge, and your honour found quite egregious facts of what he did to that dog – albeit it was a one-off – there needs to be protection to that animal so it doesn’t happen again,” Crown attorney Matthew Collins said.

Collins was concerned there was no supervision in place if Lamoureux kept the dog and – if it was a child or a weapon – both would be taken away under similar circumstances. “Animals are, if there was a scale, below children in the sense they are completely helpless. Children can, when they’re older, say things to adults that they are being mistreated. An animal can’t.”

The black-and-while smaller breed dog, Quark, which was the subject of the trial has been with Lamoureux since the charges were laid in May 2018.

Lamoureux, representing himself, disagreed with the Crown that the court is the voice of the animal. “The voice of the animal can’t be heard by Mr. Collins. So, for him to convey that he is the one that’s capable of conveying what that dog would like to communicate to you (Judge Kinsella) is a little bit pretentious.”

“This dog loves me,” Lamoureux stated. “Taking that dog away from me will hurt the dog more than what you guys think happened, which I would like to continue to weigh on the fact that I’m going to be appealing this.”

“If the dog is removed from by possession, it will have ramifications on the dog’s mental health more than the supposed instance that happened,” Lamoureux said.

Lamoureux also unsuccessfully requested to have a publication ban put in place on the sentencing because it “already has had an extremely harsh effect on my life. I’ve lost my job. When you search my name online that’s the first thing you find. It makes me out to be a bad person and I’m not a bad person, I’m an extremely good, loving person.”

In the end, Judge Kinsella made an order than Lamoureux could not have any animals during his probation, except for the dog and cat he has now.

“I found that on the date in question, he was angry and upset. He grabbed that dog and carried it downstairs in a manner that did cause the dog unnecessary suffering. That doesn’t make Mr. Lamoureux a bad person. It means that on that day, he did something wrong.”

The judge did agree that this was an isolated or “one-off” incident.

Kinsella felt an absolute ban was “ultimately going to cause some upset to the dog which is not my intent” for an animal which has “bonded with him,” according to testimony from Lamoureux’s sister and mother.

Lamoureux will be on probation for a year-and-a-half where he’s also required to get counselling for anger management.

Kinsella also agreed with Lamoureux that the Crown’s request for a weapons ban was unnecessary in this case.

The judge also reduced the Crown’s request of 100 hours of community service to 80 hours over the next year because Lamoureux said he was about to start a full-time job. Lamoureux has indicated that he wants to do the hours at the OSCPA because “I do love animals,” though the court didn’t stipulate where the community service would be done.

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