Time is running out to turn your life around, judge tells man found guilty of biting a Sudbury police officer
A lifelong addiction to drugs sparked by a nightmarish childhood is ruining any chances of turning his life around, a Sudbury judge told Jeremy Trodd as he handed down a guilty verdict. (File)
SUDBURY -- A lifelong addiction to drugs sparked by a nightmarish childhood is ruining any chances of turning his life around, a Sudbury judge told Jeremy Trodd as he handed down a guilty verdict.
Trodd has been in the news regularly since 1999, when a stolen vehicle he was driving struck and killed Sudbury Police Const. Rick McDonald, who was laying a spike belt in an attempt to stop the vehicle. Trodd was 16 at the time.
He has been in and out of jail since being released from Millhaven Penitentiary and Joyceville Penitentiary, where he served his sentence.
In the latest incident, Trodd was convicted of biting a Sudbury police officer, tearing his shirt and drawing blood, during an arrest in April 2018. The officer was forced to complete six months of treatment to ensure Trodd wasn't infected.
Trodd refused to give a blood sample for testing until after the officer had completed the treatment.
In his decision, Ontario Court Justice André L. Guay outlined Trodd's past, which included childhood physical and sexual abuse, leading him to drug addiction and problems with the law since the age of 12.
"When assessing a person with a criminal history, it is prudent to consider whether such a person is like he or she presently is because they have a malevolent nature and criminal predisposition, or whether it is because of unfortunate circumstances suffered in early life," the judge wrote.
"So often, we find that behind the criminal acts a person commits, there is both past trauma and failure to access the mental health services needed to help them resolve that trauma."
In handing down a 44-month sentence, Guay wrote there is evidence that Trodd is not violent by nature, as other criminals are, but that his bad behaviour is driven by drug addiction.
"The accused had previously been involved in two spousal relationships and had fathered two children during these relationships," the judge wrote. "There is nothing to suggest that he was violent or abusive to his former partners or his children."
'Behind an addiction you will often find a trauma'
As corrections workers know all too well, Guay said that "behind an addiction you will often find a trauma.
"The accused is not a violent psychopath," he wrote. "He suffers from a drug addiction. To see him as otherwise is surely to condemn him to a life of increasing criminality.
"I believe that his behaviour will not change until he gets the mental health services he needs. If the accused is not treated, there is a possibility that he could become more alienated. Given his very unfortunate history, this could lead him to engage in violence."
His past as someone who killed a police officer has also haunted him, and drug addiction has fueled a life of crime.
"His addiction has led him into a never-ending cycle of custody," Guay wrote. "If he fails or is unable to successfully address his addiction and its underlying trauma, he will lay himself open to a life of petty criminality and custody on the instalment plan."
Trodd was sentenced to 44 months, but given credit for 38 months time served while awaiting trial.
He was found guilty of several offences, include assault causing bodily harm, drug offences, and several breach of probation offences.
Read the full transcript here.