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THUNDER BAY -- Brian Hamilton said if he had to do it all over again, he’d have left the neighbourhood and gone for a sandwich somewhere else.
Seven months after the Algoma Street entrepreneur was arrested and charged with dumping a container of chocolate milk on anti-abortion protesters who interrupted a neighbourhood sidewalk sale, Hamilton on Wednesday received an absolute discharge.
“It was obviously a knee-jerk reaction on my part. I just felt like we had to be represented,” said Hamilton, attempting to explain his actions.
Hamilton, who operates both the Bean Fiend and Red Earth Imports, said he was expecting a little more punishment than he got, so the end result, a $500 donation to Amnesty International and mandatory anger management classes, came as a relief.
“The Crown at the last minute decided to go ahead with the unconditional discharge,” he said outside his businesses, several cars honking their support and waving as they drove past.
“I’m pretty happy about that. It means no criminal record. But the judge wanted to let the point be known that what I did was wrong. So I agree with her.”
At the time, last June, Hamilton was upset with the protestors, who were displaying graphic abortion signs, which Hamilton said were inappropriate and upsetting to his customers.
Now he wants to get back to the business of cleaning up the neighbourhood.
Just how he’ll celebrate the decision, Hamilton isn’t quite sure.
“We thought about giving free chocolate milk all week, but I don’t know,” he said.
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