Man sentenced to 7 years for aggravated assaults in Igloolik
Judge cited Dennis Piugattuk’s past criminal history in handing lengthy punishment
A Igloolik man has been sentenced to seven years in prison after pleading guilty to several offences, including a pair of aggravated assaults, that occurred in Igloolik in 2021.
The Nunavut Court of Justice released the decision, written by Judge Christian Lyons, on Friday.
On June 28, an intoxicated Piugattuk hit a friend in the head, knocking him unconscious. The man required medical treatment in Ottawa.
According to a victim impact statement, the victim lost his right eye, continues to feel physical pain, and is emotionally traumatized by the incident.
Piugattuk was not arrested and remained at large in the community.
On June 29, Piugattuk, who again appeared to be intoxicated, entered a home and assaulted one of the residents. He was arrested, charged with assault and being unlawfully in a dwelling, and released that same day.
On Sept. 25, Piugattuk and his wife were at her sister’s house, where he was drinking and became agitated when one of his alcohol bottles was taken away.
While his wife was walking home, carrying her infant daughter in her amauti, Piugattuk attacked her. Despite a bystander attempting to stop the attack, Piugattuk was not deterred, and he was taken into RCMP custody.
Lyons said the images of Piugattuk’s wife’s injuries from the attack were disturbing.
She was left disfigured and flown to Ottawa for treatment.
Piugattuk was arrested on Sept. 25 and detained in custody. He was charged with the June 28 assault two days later.
Seven months later, Piugattuk was granted bail to attend his mother’s funeral. One of his conditions was to not contact his wife.
However, it appears the two were living together for a month and a half after that release, and Piugattuk impregnated his wife.
Defence requested Piugattuk be handed a six to six-and-a-half year prison sentence, while the Crown requested seven years.
Lyons cited several factors, including Piugattuk’s violent criminal past and difficult upbringing as factors in handing down his punishment.
Throughout his upbringing in Igloolik, Piugattuk was raised in an abusive household and lost many friends and family to suicide.
He also has 19 prior criminal convictions, nine of which were for violent offences, from 2009 to 2019, and one of the victims of the previously mentioned assaults was left permanently injured.
Lyons sided with the Crown’s request for a seven-year prison sentence.
“Dennis also has demonstrated that at this time of his life he is a danger to society and should be removed for a significant period of time so he cannot harm others and can get treatment and programming for the issues that fuel his criminality,” stated Lyons in the decision.
Taking into consideration credit for time spent in custody, Piugattuk has a little more than four and a half more years to serve in prison.
Piugattuk is banned from owning firearms for life; however, he is allowed to possess a firearm while on the land for hunting.
He is also banned from contacting any of the victims while serving his sentence.