It won't be until June 19 that the man who pleaded guilty to attacking Breezy the dog will learn his fate. A judge will decide then on his sentence for animal cruelty and related break and enter charges on that day.
Steven Helfer's tumultuous relationship with his mother is taking front stage in sentencing concerns because both the Crown and defence agree Steven Helfer never meant to harm Breezy the dog.
"It was violence towards an animal in this case as a proxy for, potentially for a person," said defense lawyer Steven Boss who argues that fact should lessen his client's sentence, even though a psychiatrist said in a review that raised concerning questions about Helfer.
The Crown argues Helfer's acts are made more serious by the fact that when he beat Breezy the dog he wanted to hurt his mother and sister and did, in fact, harm them emotionally and psychologically.
They're seeking four years plus the six months jail time Helfer has already served while the defence wants Helfer to serve 9 months plus two years' probation.
Given the opportunity to address the court Helfer gave a brief apology.
"I'd like to apologize to the people I had an impact on. To Breezy and the family, I forged a tragedy on them and I'm sorry," he said in a quiet voice looking only at the judge.
Helfer has been diagnosed with anti-social personality disorder and ADHD which adds to his low tolerance for frustration and quickness to anger, as defined in the court-ordered psychiatric evaluation.
The 24-year-old has an extensive youth criminal record and one adult conviction from nearly five years ago.
Breezy the dog has been adopted and is living happily with a new family. It cost more than $11,000 to bring her back to health and the Crown is asking that Helfer be made to repay that amount as well as the damages from the related break and enter charge.