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An Ottawa man who had been fighting off gang membership pleaded guilty on Wednesday to a charge of attempted murder, but the Crown would not accept the guilty plea as long as he agreed to stay sober for 12 months.
Dionne Dandez, 44, had already pleaded guilty to assaulting a police officer during an April assault that included an attempted stabbing and choking.
Court heard during the trial of Dandez that he had left the gang when he got involved with a rival gang called the White Pride.
In an email to CBC, Dionne Dandez said he was pleading guilty because of concern for his children. (CBC)
Dandez said this was the first time he had ever accepted a guilty plea. He wrote, in part: “I have decided it’s in my best interest to be as accountable as possible, even if I do miss out on being on the witness stand.
“I have also agreed that my probation officer will have the opportunity to talk to my children (a baby and a 17-month old); so that I can explain to them that I did not take part in the gang.
“Now that I have accepted the plea, it should make little to no difference to the court if I am sent to jail, or to serve time. This will take care of the situation.”
He did not answer questions from the court.
He had a criminal record, including drug possession. Court heard that at the time of the attack on a police officer in Ottawa on April 24, 2016, Dandez had a criminal record involving assault and drug possession.
Dandez said he had been involved in the rival gang White Pride, and had left when he got serious in the gang.
Defence lawyer Brian Murphy asked Dandez during the sentencing hearing in January if he had any mental health issues and he said he did not.
He apologized to the officer who was assaulted.
The judge told Dandez that he could have accepted a deal that was less than he’d plead guilty to if he agreed to stay sober for 12 months.
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