A Surrey man found guilty of sexual assault and forcible confinement has been sentenced to three and a half years in prison.
There is a publication ban on any information that would identify his victim. Justice Veronica Jackson found Floyd Broxton Peart, 49, guilty of the March 5, 2017 crimes in B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster.
The court heard he is originally from Jamaica but lived in Guildford and North Delta before moving back to Surrey.
The Crown argued for a four-year sentence while the defence sought a sentence of between two years less a day and three and a half years.
“The sexual assault was accompanied by physical violence, and verbal intimidation and degradation,” Jackson noted in her April 8 reasons for sentence, adding Peart used a phone charger to restrain his victim’s hands behind her back during part of the sexual assault.
In her victim impact statement, the victim described the physical pain she experienced, has trouble sleeping and suffered from nightmares. “Emotionally she has lost her ability to trust people and finds herself jumping or jerking when men touch her,” Jackson noted. “Her sense of self‑worth has suffered. However, according to (the victim) she is getting stronger and is not letting the sexual assault dictate the rest of her life.”
The judge said, “No words I can offer, or sentence I can impose, will undo the physical and emotional harm suffered.”
The court heard the sexual assault was violent and that Peart slapped her, pulled her hair, put his hands around her throat and tightened his grip when she displeased him. He restrained her, refused her pleas that he stop “and disregarded her expressions of pain, instead telling her “it was supposed to hurt,’” Jackson noted.
Peart has worked as a forklift driver and a cook. “He worked as a disc jockey but began selling drugs full‑time, feeling it was more lucrative,” the judge added. The court heard he became addicted to crack cocaine and heroin by age 28. “Mr. Peart reports he has been clean and sober for eight or nine years,” the judge added.
Peart’s criminal record – consisting of 46 convictions – dates back to 1999, including multiple convictions for possession of stolen property over $5,000, multiple convictions for theft under $5,000, and multiple assault convictions including one for domestic assault in 2011. He was also convicted of assault with a weapon, uttering threats, unlawful confinement, breach of probation, possession of controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking, has a conviction for trafficking in a controlled substance, and was convicted of breaking and entering.
”His most recent conviction was for living on the avails of prostitution, for which he was convicted in February of 2013, receiving a 28‑month jail sentence,” Jackson noted. “The circumstances leading to that conviction are very troubling and misogynistic, but Mr. Peart has already served his sentence for that offence.”
As Peart is Black, his defence counsel submitted his “race and experience of racism because of his race may be considered by the court as a relevant and mitigating factor at his sentencing.”
Jackson noted it was submitted she could “take judicial notice of the history of colonialism, slavery, policies and practices of segregation, intergenerational trauma, and both overt and systemic racism that continue to affect Black Canadians like Mr. Peart today.”
However, she noted that systemic racism doesn’t diminish the seriousness of the crime nor the court’s obligation to denounce it.
“I make no comment about what evidence is generally necessary, appropriate, or admissible where a Black defendant seeks to mitigate their sentence on the basis of anti‑Black racism,” the judge said. “I take judicial notice of the fact that anti‑Black racism exists in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, as it does throughout Canada, and that anti‑Black racism can have a profound and insidious impact on those who endure it on a daily basis.
“In this case, however, defence counsel did not offer any connection between the existence of anti‑Black racism in BC, or the evidence I have about Mr. Peart’s experiences of victimization because he is Black, to his commission of a violent sexual assault,” she added. “In the circumstances of these offences and this offender, I do not accede to defence counsel’s argument that either systemic anti‑Black racism, or Mr. Peart’s personal experiences of that form of ignorance and hatred, should ‘count towards some mitigation in sentencing in the case at bar.’”
Jackson accepted expert opinion evidence that there is a “high likelihood” Peart will commit another act of sexual violence “absent strategies to mitigate his risk.”
“As I have already noted, Mr. Peart is currently unwilling to engage in treatment programming targeted at reducing his risk for sexual offending.”
She sentenced Peart to three and a half years in prison for sexual assault and 12 months for forcible confinement, to be served concurrently (at the same time).