Man sentenced to 7 years for aggravated assaults in Igloolik

Judge cited Dennis Piugattuk’s past criminal history in handing lengthy punishment

Dennis Piugattuk of Igloolik will serve a seven-year snetence for a series of 2021 offences, according to a judgment released Friday by the Nunavut Court of Justice. (File photo)

By Jeff Pelletier - Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

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.

Kitikmeot Community Futures Inc., Job Opportunity – Executive Director

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.

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(11) Comments:

  1. Posted by Putting this out there on

    “Throughout his upbringing in Igloolik, Piugattuk was raised in an abusive household”
    When this is used as a factor in a case, charges should also be leveled against who did the abusing in his house. Any time that sentencing is held back due to that reason it should be applied to the person that did the abusing. Just like those that he may have also hurt but not currently charged for if they use him as the reason for a hard life he will be held accountable for his actions.

    • Posted by Hunter on

      If we were to trace the generational trauma.

      Parents, uncles aunts were kidnapped by the RCMP and forced into residential schools run by the Catholic Church sponsored by the Federal Government.

      There is a big void of parenting skills and knowledge because kids were torn from their healthy homes in the past.

  2. Posted by Consider on

    He should have never been released after the previous incidences. Nunavut Justice as its finest. Drinking, getting aggressive, even hitting your wife who has a child on her (why the hello would you even bring the child). Arrested, released on conditions, broke the conditions. 7 year with food and heat are coming up.

    It never should have come to this. Nunavut Justice wake up and get rid of the hand-slaps; Nunavutmmiut wake up and get your drinking and life in order.

  3. Posted by delbert on

    So many times here and threw out Canada. The Justice systems allows violent criminals and deviants. Off with little or no punishment. Because they were abused as a child. Or they were traumatized by one thing or another. Is this how we want to protect society? After the first three violent offences that he was charged with. That a judge or a psychiatrist. Should have seen a pattern with his behavior. And you know they could have said. Jeez this guy is a violent offender. May be he should put him away for a indeterminate amount of time. Instead lets do this.
    Heck no he a hard childhood. Lets put him in jail for 4 years. Then see if he kills someone.

  4. Posted by Oh? on

    “Piugattuk is banned from owning firearms for life; however, he is allowed to possess a firearm while on the land for hunting.”

    Not sure but I think I gotta get my eyes checked

    • Posted by Optometrist. on

      Owning and using are different – eh?

  5. Posted by Holding back on details on

    The old Nunatsiaq news team didn’t shy away on horrendous crimes like this by painting a picture with the details. Check the court documents on what this person did, it’s shocking and it needs to be heard. 7 years of such violence is not enough. We need a deterrent for the violence to stop. I hope the victims seek help and are doing better.

    No more weak sentences.

  6. Posted by My step-dad beat my mom every weekend. on

    I was raised in an alcoholic house of violence as well. And I wouldn dream of raising a finger against my wife.

    If anything his bad experience with a violent household should have shown him how NOT to be.

    That’s the lesson I took from my childhood.

  7. Posted by Iglulik on

    He’s been in custody since 2022 and it still states he has 4 yrs left ?

  8. Posted by Hunter on

    The guy is guilty of the violent crimes he committed and deserves all the time he got and then some. I hope he can get treatment and counselling he very badly needs so the day he is released, he will be released one day, he will be a productive member of society.

    But I have to imagine his scares run deep, his violent outbursts are a direct result of his own anger from the abuse and trauma he suffered growing up that he does not know how to deal with.

    All these are a direct result of Catholic Residential Schools. The Catholic Church as a whole should be put on trial honestly in my opinion. They still abuse kids to this day, their membership is a brain washed cult in my opinion.

  9. Posted by G-man Choi on

    Wow just wow, took them all this time to figure out he was violent, it took someone losing an eye, several hard beatings and disfigurement to figure out he was violent. Throw him in jail for life and leave him there, he will never be a productive member of society. When he gets out someone will be murdered, mark my words.


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