PORT HAWKESBURY: An Inverness County man was sentenced to serve time in federal prison.
On June 14 in Port Hawkesbury Provincial Court, 34-year-old James Edwin Tyler Goswell received a three-year sentence (including credit for the year-and-a-half he already served in custody), 30 months probation, as well as an order to provide a DNA sample and a firearms prohibition running until 2028. Goswell earlier pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and unlawful possession of a firearm.
Crown Attorney Thomas Kayter explained this case went through a post-conviction restorative justice referral which began immediately after the conviction, continued through the pre-sentencing phase and will be extended after sentencing.
“It didn’t go to restorative justice instead of a prosecution, it went through as a post-conviction, so that means after he entered his guilty plea,” Kayter noted.
Kayter noted there have been indirect interactions between the offender and the victim and there are plans for direct interaction.
“He has restorative justice commitments still including potentially meeting with the victim.”
The RCMP arrested and charged Goswell, along with Makayla Sutherland and Justin Francis Goswell following an incident in Skye Glen on June 2, 2017 when Inverness District RCMP received a call of someone getting shot in the leg at a residence.
James Goswell, who police arrested on June 3, faced charges of aggravated assault, careless use of a firearm, pointing a firearm, possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose, carrying a concealed weapon, possessing a firearm without a licence, possession of a loaded restricted firearm, possession of a restricted firearm obtained by the commission of crime, and possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking.
Justin Goswell, who police arrested a day after the incident, faced charges of possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose, possession of a firearm without a license, possession of a firearm while prohibited, and possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking.
Sutherland was charged with possessing a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking. She was released following her arrest.
Police searched two homes on June 4, 2017 as part of the investigation and seized firearms, ammunition, and drugs – including a quantity of marijuana and six kilograms of cocaine – and what the police described as sophisticated drug packaging equipment.
As part of the restorative justice process, the Crown Attorney said Goswell has been attending monthly sessions of the Wellness Court in Port Hawkesbury.
“I think the incident caused him to do much self-reflection about where he was at in his life,” Kayter said. “It was a terribly violent incident, obviously. I think he recognized immediately drugs as the underlying cause of the violence, at least in part. So he began immediately to take steps and has continued to do so to address the addiction issue. He appears to be doing that in quite an authentic and committed way. The victim has been very supportive of that, also recognizing that perhaps this was not an inherently violent individual but somebody who as the result of an extreme addiction came to violence.”