Frederick Martel case: a first case law

If seizures can be made at Frederick Martel when he regains his freedom, his civil conviction for the sneaky blow to police officer Eric Lefebvre can serve as a beacon to prosecute a criminal who attacks a representative of the judicial system.
The multi-recidivist Frédérick Martel was sentenced this week to pay more than $ 438,000 in damages to SPS police officer Éric Lefebvre for giving him a violent punch during an interrogation in 2006.

Éric Lefebvre’s lawyer, Justin Gravel de Lavery, believes that beyond the pecuniary damages awarded to his client, it is the $ 75,000 punitive damages imposed on Frédérick Martel that are likely to establish precedents.

“It’s a very rare amount that is imposed on one individual as punitive damage. Judge Mireault stresses in her decision that this social problem must be tackled against the representatives of the judicial system. There were some small claims decisions, but punitive damages of this magnitude for a police officer assaulted in the line of duty is a first in Quebec, if not in Canada, “says Gravel.

In her judgment, Justice Suzanne Mireault of the Superior Court denounces this perpetration of violent acts against members of the Quebec judicial system.

“This is a real social scourge and a free and democratic society, like ours, can not tolerate it,” the judge said.

The President of the Federation of Quebec City Police, Robin Côté, emphasizes the fact that this principle of protection of the representatives of the judicial system is now included in a civil judgment.

“The principle goes well beyond the amount that has been granted. We now have a decision of principle on which the police will be able to base themselves if they are attacked as part of their duties. There is a risk of criminal prosecution, but now also of civil prosecution, “says Robin Côté.

Mr. Gravel mentions that the judgment can be executed from the moment the 30-day period of appeal available to Frédérick Martel has expired.

“The judgment will target Frédérick Martel all his life. The execution may be renewed every ten years. Several tools are available for a bailiff to seize the property of a person sentenced by the court. This cause was first of all a principle, “says Gravel.

This assault of August 29, 2006 during the interrogation of Martel at the headquarters of the SPS disrupted the life of Eric Lefebvre. Victim of a torn brainstem, head trauma and a cervical sprain, Éric Lefebvre is still suffering the consequences of this aggression: loss of memory, reactions to light and noise, dizziness, extreme fatigue , mood disorder, absence from work for two years, decreased intellectual performance, neuropsychological disorders, to name only these. He has maintained some permanent cognitive effects, slurred speech and migraine episodes. He can not work full time anymore.

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