Thursday, April 8, 2010
Manitoba teen admitted to minor role in attack
A Manitoba teen has admitted his role in an attack that saw a youth dragged from his home, beaten unconscious and then hung by his neck from a tree.
The 17-year-old pleaded guilty last week in Portage la Prairie court to assault causing bodily harm for the April 2007 incident on the Sandy Bay First Nation, about 165 kilometres northwest of Winnipeg. He was sentenced to two years probation as part of a joint-recommendation between lawyers.
The Crown stayed a more serious charge of attempted murder based on problems with its case, which included no arrests or identification of the two main attackers.
Prosecutor Lee Turner said the victim -- believed to be about 16 years old at the time -- was asleep in his own home when two men wearing bandanas over their faces burst inside.
"They roughed him up and took him out of the house," Turner said Wednesday in an interview. A third suspect -- the youth who was in court last week -- was waiting outside and helped the others quickly overpower the victim.
"He was there as a backup, but apparently didn't know how serious this was going to be," said Turner. The masked men took a yellow rope and placed it around the victim's neck before securing it to a wooden beam that ran between two trees.
"Apparently this was a spot people in the community would hang deer from to drain the blood," said Turner.
Fortunately, the victim's cousin stumbled across the scene while walking over from his own nearby residence. He had been playing guitar with the victim earlier in the evening but went home briefly to get some more equipment.
"He was hanging by the neck, but not for a very long period of time. It's very fortunate the victim was saved as he was," said Turner. The three culprits all fled the scene, and the cousin was unable to identify any of them because it was dark, court was told.
The victim suffered serious but non life-threatening injuries from the beating and the hanging.
"It's amazing how little damage there was to his neck," said Turner.
RCMP were only able to identify the one teen accused, who had been seen in the area at the time of the attack. He refused to identify who else was involved.
Turner said a motive for the attack isn't clear.
I wish this article would have included the other side of the story, the accused's. I would like to know his background life information, mitigating factors, possible addictions/mental health issues, family life and the conditions of his probation.
I do agree with the probation sentence, because he is a youth and the YCJA is focused on rehabilitation and reintegration. This youth had a minor role and does not deserve to be sent to prison as prison is "criminogenic" in cases of teens, meaning that it causes more crime and the greater possibility of re-offending.