Four month at home sentence after Corunna man attacks police

Sarnia Courthouse

Alex Kurial/Local Journalism Initiative

A Corunna man received 120 days confinement for attacking an OPP officer during a domestic call last year.

But since Michael Clayton, 42, was granted a conditional sentence he’ll be able to serve the time at home with a curfew.

OPP officers were called to the Ashwood Court home every few months Justice Anne McFadyen heard. Clayton’s mother and brother often called police when Clayton would drink and become combative. He’d been arrested on multiple occasions and always struggled with police and paramedics.

On Feb. 23, 2020, they called again after Clayton tried to fight his brother. He’d also taken several sleeping pills. The responding officer was met by a hostile Clayton who shoved him into a closet after he called for paramedics.

The officer hit Clayton several times in the face and wrestled him to the ground. In response Clayton spat in his eye temporarily blinding him.

Clayton then ordered his dog to attack the officer, which it did. The officer’s partner came inside and fended off the dog while the original officer finally brought the confrontation to an end by tasering Clayton multiple times.

“I would never intentionally put my hands on an officer. I was going through a mental health crisis and have no recollection of that day,” says Clayton after hearing a retelling of the incident in court Oct. 25.

“I had no malicious intent… I do take responsibility and I do apologize for that,” he says.
Clayton also admitted to a bail breach and later a mischief charge resulting from another family dispute in April this year. After police removed him from his mother’s home he threatened the officer and was taken to the Sarnia police station. Clayton, who was highly intoxicated, then urinated all over his cell while giving the finger to a surveillance camera.

“These offences and his criminal record indicate someone with a long standing problem with alcohol. And he does not deny that,” says Defence Lawyer Luigi Perzia. He says Clayton suffered a head injury in a car accident years ago leading to depression, anxiety and alcohol addiction.

Perzia wanted a sentence which would help deal with his addiction and drive home the seriousness of the attacks.

Crown Attorney Nila Mulpuru says Clayton’s criminal record – which includes prior convictions for assault, uttering threats and resisting arrest – was a main factor in pursuing a lengthier sentence. And he hasn’t taken any recent steps to address his alcohol problem.

But Mulpuru noted he still has his mother’s support and seems “prepared to take this conditional sentence and probation order seriously and use it as an opportunity to meaningfully address these long standing issues he has.”

McFadyen accepted the 120 day home sentence followed by 12 months probation. Both include the counselling terms along with several people and places Clayton can’t contact or go near. He’ll be off curfew for probation but must submit DNA and observe a five year weapons ban.

The Local Journalism Initiative supports the creation of original civic journalism that covers the diverse needs of underserved communities across Canada.