OTTAWA - A man begged to be spared a criminal record Friday after subjecting his wife and five kids to years of deprivation.
In the winter, the family froze because the 52-year-old wouldn't turn up the heat.
He capped showers at four litres of water, two jugs, one for rinsing and one for washing.
The toilet could only be flushed after everyone had finished in the bathroom.
The man -- who cannot be named to protect the identity of his family -- called these "common sense practises."
Judge Charles Hackland convicted him earlier this month of criminal harassment and assault charges.
The man, who has spent about 2-1/2 years in jail, asked Hackland to impose a discharge, which would spare him a criminal record.
"I came to Canada with a dream of improving the quality of life," said the Yemen-born man, who was earning $90,000 a year when he was arrested.
"My dream was shattered in a flash."
Nevertheless, Hackland noted that his scrimping had allowed him to purchase the $210,000 family home in cash.
The family wasn’t only deprived of heat and showers, the man punished his kids with a leather belt cracked over their open palms, or he'd pinch and twist their ears.
Crown prosecutor Tim Wightman said the man's comments showed no regard for the harm he'd visited on his family and asked for a suspended sentence and three years of probation, which would leave the man with a criminal record