BRITISH COLUMBIA
08/27/2014 01:20 EDT | Updated 10/27/2014 05:59 EDT

University professor in Kamloops, B.C., pleads guilty to assaulting wife

KAMLOOPS, B.C. - A university professor who also serves as president of the Kamloops Child Development Society has pleaded guilty to assaulting his wife.

Bernie Warren, who teaches in the business school at Thompson Rivers University, pleaded guilty in provincial court to one count of domestic assault.

Court heard Warren, 59, and his wife were arguing at their home on Feb. 21 when he kicked her in the back and buttocks, then grabbed her by the arms and threw her against a wall.

The Crown alleged Warren also punched his wife in the face but he denied that in court.

After discussions with provincial court Judge Chris Cleaveley, prosecutors agreed to continue with sentencing without the punching allegation.

“I snapped, I lost it,” said Warren, who represented himself in court.

“But, it won’t happen again.

“This incident will never be repeated. As a couple, we’re using this incident as a life lesson.”

The Crown had asked for a suspended sentence and one year of probation.

Warren pleaded with Cleaveley to grant him a conditional discharge, which would mean the conviction will not stay on his criminal record.

Warren said he travels frequently to the U.S. to give talks and vacations there and was worried a conviction would make it difficult for him to cross the border.

He also said a criminal record could cost him the president’s seat on the board of the Kamloops Child Development Society.

However, court heard Warren already has a criminal record. In 2003, he pleaded guilty to impaired driving after he was stopped in Jasper, Alta.

Cleavelely sided with Warren.

“Mr. Warren has taken some steps to remedy the problem,” he said.

“I’m satisfied that it’s in the community’s best interest that Mr. Warren be granted a conditional discharge, despite the magnitude of violence and his previous criminal record.”

The assault conviction will be removed from Warren’s criminal record if he completes a one-year probation term without any issues. (Kamloops This Week)