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Youth hockey coach who tripped player sentenced to 15 days in jail, suffered breakup of marriage after incident

Cameron Smith
Prep Rally

In July, Prep Rally brought you the disturbing story of Martin Tremblay, a youth hockey coach in British Columbia who was caught on video tripping a 13-year-old opposing player in a postgame handshake line. Making matters worse, the victim of the incident suffered injuries from his fall after he fractured his wrists while using them to break his fall.

At the time, Tremblay was arrested and issued charges for his actions. Now, some seven months later he has been sentenced to 15 days in jail for actions that have apparently also ruined his life.

As reported by the CBC and Associated Press, Tremblay was sentenced to 15 days in jail to be served out on intermittent weekends and 12 months of probation in relation to two counts of assault stemming from the incident. The judge’s ruling apparently surprised both Tremblay and his lawyer after the former coach pleaded guilty to the charges in November. At the time it was believed that guilty plea would likely keep the coach from serving time in prison.

As it turns out, the 15 day sentence was an even harsher penalty than the 30 days of house arrest which had been proposed by the Crown (that’s the state in Canada). In declaring his sentencing verdict, judge Patrick Chen said that Tremblay had abused the trust of the public in his position as coach and said the tripping action was akin to, “a cowardly sucker punch.”

Meanwhile, Tremblay’s lawyer, Robert Bellows, said that his client had suffered significant damage to both his life and livelihood since the incident. At the time the coach was apparently not taking his anti-depressant medication. Since then, he’s had much more to be upset about, with his construction business losing jobs because of his notoriety and his marriage apparently breaking down as a result as well.

“He’s rebuilding his life after this incident,” Bellows told the assembled press after Tremblay was sentenced. “It’s horrible. He put in years and years coaching hockey, he put in years and years as a scout master. And that all over … because of one incident when he was off his antidepressants for three weeks.”

Of course, when Tremblay tripped the teen, it essentially ended his summer hockey season because of the injuries it inflicted. That had already cost Tremblay his position as a youth hockey coach. Now it appears to have cost him much more.

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