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Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Hockey coach gets jail time for trip


RICHMOND, British Columbia -- A Vancouver pee wee hockey coach has been sentenced to 15 days in jail for tripping a player during a postgame handshake.

The tripping of the boys was akin to a cowardly sucker punch on an unsuspecting victim.

-- Judge Patrick Chen

Martin Tremblay, 48, swept out the leg of an opposing player while the teams were going through the typical hockey ritual of lining up to shake hands after the game. Two players, a 10-year-old and a 13-year-old, fell to the ice. The move was caught on video and worked its way around the Internet.

Tremblay pleaded guilty to one count of assault in November.

Richmond provincial court Judge Patrick Chen said he wasn't satisfied that time served in the community was enough to denounce or deter Tremblay for his actions.

"Win or lose, this was just a game," Chen told the court, according to newspaper accounts. "This was the last place anyone would have expected an assault to take place, and the very last place one would have expected an adult to assault a child.

"The tripping of the boys was akin to a cowardly sucker punch on an unsuspecting victim."

According to reports, Chen said a psychiatric assessment of Tremblay was unreliable and that he believed the coach's problems stem from anger-management issues.

"Children's parents have the right to expect people in charge will keep their kids safe," Chen said.

After his client's sentencing, lawyer Bob Bellows said the punishment would not be appealed.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.