A Fernie man has been sentenced on charges of unlawful confinement and personating a peace officer for an incident at Rotary Park in Cranbrook last year.
Fredrick Mcdowell, 47, will serve a six-month conditional sentence to be served in the community, including three months of house arrest served concurrently. An 18-month probation term will follow with a number of court-imposed conditions.
“I am satisfied that that a jail term of less than two years is appropriate for Fredrick Mcdowell,” said Judge Grant Sheard, in Cranbrook Provincial Court on Monday.
Mcdowell pleaded guilty to the charges following an incident at a public bathroom in Rotary Park involving a young boy on July 21, 2015.
According to a joint submission from Crown and defence counsel, Mcdowell forced his way into a bathroom stall while a young boy was changing after playing in the spray park.
The boy opened the stall door after Mcdowell said he was a police officer and would show him his badge. The boy was able to run past him and out the building to his parents in the park.
After a confrontation with the parents, Mcdowell was arrested by RCMP shortly thereafter near Safeway.
Mcdowell, who has previously struggled with drug an alcohol addictions, as well as other medical conditions, expressed remorse for his behaviour,
“I apologize for scaring the young man,” Mcdowell told the court. “…I’ve never had an incident like this ever.”