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P.E.I. hockey player sentenced to 30 days for assaulting referee in Pownal


CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. - An 18-year-old P.E.I. hockey player was sentenced to 30 days in jail for assaulting a referee.

Cole Trevor Crane, who will serve the sentence on an intermittent basis to allow him to work at his summer job, was also placed on probation for 18 months.

Chief Provincial Court Judge Nancy Orr ordered Crane to write an apology to the referee, John William MacDougall, and to refrain from having any contact with MacDougall.

Orr told Crane she took into consideration his guilty plea and his show of remorse in reaching the sentence, but made clear she also needed to impose a jail sentence for deterrence.

The judge called the assault an unprovoked attack.

“Mr. Crane was in the wrong,’’ she said.

“The number one rule is you never, ever, ever touch an official.’’

Related: P.E.I. hockey player pleads guilty to assaulting referee in Pownal

Crane got into a fight with a player as a midget AA championship game was winding down at the Pownal Sports Centre on March 26.

A linesman tried to break up the fight.

Referee MacDougall stepped in, took Crane by the jersey, and started to lead him off the ice.

As they got near the exit, Orr noted, Crane pushed MacDougall and then punched him twice “on the face and lip area’.’

The judge calls Crane’s actions “very deliberate’’.

Related: Hockey official speaks out after viewing video from alleged referee assault in Pownal

Orr went with Crown attorney Gerald Quinn’s recommendation for a jail sentence “in the range of 30 days’.’

Crane’s lawyer Yolande Murphy sought a conditional discharge for her client.

“Cole accepts full responsibility for his action,’’ Murphy told the court.

“He pled guilty. He is remorseful.’’

The pre-sentence report said that Crane started drinking alcohol in Grade 9 and went on to use cannabis for a period of time.

He failed to complete high school this year.

Orr ordered Crane to undergo any assessment, counselling or treatment deemed necessary to help him deal with the underlying behavior that led to his criminal action on the ice.

Crane’s father James Trevor Crane was also charged with assaulting MacDougall during the same incident.

However, he has entered into a recognizance to keep the peace and be of good behavior.

Orr also ordered Crane to refrain from having any contact with MacDougall.

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