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Crown wants exemplary sentence for Quebec man who cut off victim-alerting ankle bracelet


A man from Montreal's South Shore will soon be sentenced for removing his specialized ankle bracelet while on bail on spousal abuse charges, a case that is considered a first in Quebec.

In the past two years, roughly 300 suspects in Quebec have received a GPS-equipped ankle bracelet designed to warn victims if their attacker is in the vicinity.

These devices are supposed to be tamper-proof.

But in December, 31-year-old Alexandre Tremblay Malboeuf managed to cut his off.

Longueuil police quickly launched an alert, and officers with the Roussillon police service were able to catch and arrest the suspect.

Tremblay Malboeuf pleaded guilty to breaking bail conditions.

The prosecution wants the judge to set an example by imposing a lengthy jail sentence.

"It's very unsettling for a victim to receive a call that the accused has cut his anti-approach bracelet," explained prosecutor Eliane Villemur.

"It's very important to send a message to society that it's not an attitude that's acceptable."

Quebec's ankle bracelet program was introduced two years ago by then-public security minister Geneviève Guilbault.

At the time, women's safety advocates applauded the measure, arguing it would increase security for victims of domestic violence.

Before the ankle bracelet program, all the courts could do was impose a restraining order. But in some cases, that court order failed to protect human lives.

Advocates say the bracelets provide an increased sense of security to victims -- but courts have to ensure the accused is low-risk.

"It raises the issue of how the accused is assessed," said Louise Riendeau with the RMFVVC, a coalition of shelters for domestic violence victims.

She said it's important to evaluate whether someone with a lengthy criminal record should be released with an ankle bracelet or stay in jail.

Malboeuf will remain behind bars until his sentencing in February. Top Stories

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