REGINA — A one-time player with the CFL Saskatchewan Roughriders has been sentenced to one year in jail for assaulting his former girlfriend.
Former defensive back Justin Cox pleaded guilty in September to assault causing bodily harm for the August 2017 attack.
A judge in a Regina courtroom sentenced Cox to nine months in jail for the assault and another three months for breaching his bail conditions by contacting his former partner and trying to convince her not to testify against him.
The 24-year-old woman, whose name is protected by a publication ban, was pregnant at the time with Cox's baby and was left bloodied, bruised and with a broken nose.
She was able to escape the vehicle they were driving around in and flagged down a bystander who took her to hospital, but not before Cox tried to climb into the rescuer's vehicle to get to his partner.
She moved across the country and gave birth to a boy.
“It is not unreasonable to say that Mr. Cox was being driven by a blind and uncontrollable rage,” Justice Leslie Halliday said Friday.
“He was clearly a danger to the victim and the public at the time. He was not about to give up in the pursuit of the victim.”
As part of his sentence, Cox is not allowed to contact his victim or his son directly or indirectly. He is not allowed to mention her on social media either.
The woman said in her victim impact statement read by the Crown at a sentencing hearing last month that she feared for her life the day Cox attacked her and still lives with the trauma.
She said he began assaulting her in the parking lot of a Regina mall where they had gone so she could get a pregnancy test. She said he continued to beat her as he drove through traffic to the site of Taylor Field, where the team used to play.
She said Cox repeatedly harassed her and had women he was dating harass her through messaging apps in an attempt to convince her not to testify.
The court document said that at one point Cox texted her father saying, "Your daughter better help me in court before it's too late'' and "She was a lowlife when I met her.''
Cox played one full season with the Roughriders and was named the club's rookie of the year in 2016.
He was let go from the team in April 2017 after he was arrested on a different assault charge. He was found not guilty.
(CJME, The Canadian Press)
The Canadian Press