R v Helfer, 2021 ONCJ

Steven Helfer has a history of domestic violence and animal abuse. Following an altercation with his mother in 2014, Helfer plead guilty to criminal harassment, assault with a weapon, break & enter, and beating his dog. He was sentenced to 2-years incarceration, 3-years probation, and a 25-year prohibition from owning animals. Read more about the case on the NCPAC Case Law Database.

In Spring 2021, Helfer went back before the ONCJ in Ottawa. He plead guilty to breach of probation, breach of no contact order, resist arrest, unlawfully in a dwelling, assault, and breach of animal prohibition order (multiple rabbits and birds).

After another altercation with his mother, Helfer assaulted his mother and her boyfriend. When police arrived, they found multiple rabbits and ducks on the premises, which Helfer’s mother indicated belonged to Helfer. The health of the animals was not noted by police.

The court accepted a joint submission on sentencing, 12-months incarceration (minus 48-days pretrial credit), 18-months probations. In this situation, the Crown urged the judge to give a specific sentence for the breach of animal prohibition. Of the 12-month carceral sentence, 49-days were attributed to the breach of animal prohibition charge.