Skip to content

Drunk man took chainsaw to furniture during 'terrifying' argument

Crown wanted 6 months of house arrest but the judge agreed to conditional discharge plus probation — 32-year-old Sault man apologized for behaviour that was 'definitely out of character'
The Sault Ste. Marie Courthouse is pictured in this file photo. Michael Purvis/SooToday

SAULT STE. MARIE, Ont. — An intoxicated Steven Bibeau took a chainsaw to the furniture in his home during a "terrifying" incident involving a woman.

His actions on Dec. 30, 2022, landed him in a Sault Ste. Marie courtroom last week, where he was convicted of mischief and assault for pushing the victim.

The actions taken by the 32-year-old man since that time convinced a judge to grant the first-time offender a conditional discharge.  

Ontario Court Justice Romuald Kwolek heard Bibeau, who had been drinking, used the power tool to cut through items in the residence, damaging furniture and clothes.

It was "mere luck" that neither the woman nor the accused were "severely injured," prosecutor Adrianna Mucciarelli said.

The Crown called for a six-month home confinement sentence, which would permit Bibeau to continue working, plus two years probation.

"The seriousness of the offences" that occurred support such a sentence, Mucciarelli told the judge.

She noted his pleas show remorse and save the victim from having to testify.

Pre-sentence and Gladue reports indicate Bibeau, who has no criminal record, has taken several rehabilitative steps, which are mitigating, the assistant Crown attorney said. 

Defence lawyer Adrienne Hagan proposed a conditional discharge with 18 months probation.

Shortly after the incident, Bibeau decided to stop drinking, attended a treatment program and still goes to meetings every three weeks.

As of Jan. 12, he marked one year of sobriety, she said.

Her client is employed in the HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) industry. Before this incident, he had his own business but the company was dissolved at the request of his partner, Hagan said.

He lost work, and major contracts and "it's embarrassing finding himself here today," the defence lawyer told Kwolek.

"He says over and over it's never going to happen again."

She provided the court with four character reference letters.

One was from his employer, who described him as a dedicated worker with an outstanding reputation in the industry in the Sault. 

"I apologize for my actions," Bibeau told the judge, describing them as "definitely out of character."

What occurred "helped me deal with my issues."

Kwolek referred to the victim impact statement, which wasn't read in court.

The woman detailed the significant effects and trauma she experienced in a terrifying situation with someone who was drunk and wielding a chainsaw, he said.

The nature of the offence and the impact on the victim are aggravating.

Since the incident, Bibeau has taken programs, "done things proactively" and remained sober, Kwolek said.

"You have shown you can stay away from alcohol and you know it's important to stay out of trouble."

Reference letters provided to the court described him as a productive member of society, who is "kind, helpful and wears his heart on his sleeve," the judge noted.

Kwolek said he was agreeing to the conditional discharge but it will include a lengthier probation period of 30 months.

Bibeau can have no contact with the victim, must not be within 50 metres of her and must pay $1,000 restitution to the woman.

As well, he must complete 80 hours of community service in the next 18 months.

Kwolek also banned him from possessing alcohol during his probation.

"I don't usually put a prohibition in a long order," but "I'm giving you a break with the conditional discharge," he told Bibeau.

He also must take any recommended assessments, counselling and rehabilitative programs and can't possess weapons during his probation.

He must pay a $200 victim surcharge and provide a DNA sample.

The judge also imposed a five-year weapons prohibition, which has an exception that permits hunting for sustenance.

"I think I've punished you sufficiently," Kwolek told him.

"I'm confident you will comply with the terms."

About the Author: Linda Richardson

Linda Richardson is a freelance journalist who has been covering Sault Ste. Marie's courts and other local news for more than 45 years.
Read more

Reader Feedback