Monday, June 28, 2010
Jail is no place for teen who has been compliant on bail for over a year
Jail is no place for a Winnipeg teen who sparked a June 2009 attack that saw a 64-year-old man sliced with a machete, a court was told Monday.
The now 18-year-old man has had no more run-ins with the law since being released on bail a year ago, said defence lawyer Jody Ostapiw, adding it would be “nonsensical” to send her client to jail.
Ostapiw recommended Judge Ted Lismer sentence the man to 18 months supervised probation, with an absolute curfew for the first six months of the sentence. “(Probation) would be far more effective than ripping this young man from his home where he has been compliant for a year,” Ostapiw said.
Crown attorney Susan Baragar argued the man should not receive a more lenient sentence than two male co-accused who were not released on bail.
A then-16-year-old co-accused was previously sentenced to 18 months in jail. A 15-year-old co-accused was sentenced to just under one year in jail.
“This kind of behaviour must attract a custodial sentence,” said Baragar, who urged Lismer to sentence the man to 15 months in jail.
Court heard the then 17-year-old accused had been drinking heavily and was in the company of two youths he had met that same day when the trio came across the victim shortly after midnight, walking in the vicinity of Aberdeen Avenue and McGregor Street.
The victim was “minding his own business” when the accused instigated a verbal exchange with the victim and punched him in the head, knocking him to the ground, Baragar said. The accused sprayed him with bear repellent and kicked him in the head.
The two co-accused joined in the attack, the older of the two slicing the victim in the shoulder with a machete.
Court heard the victim continues to have difficulties raising his arm, has trouble with his eyes and is unable to work.
Lismer adjourned sentencing to July 15.
I agree with the defence lawyer in this case. Prison is no place for this man. If he has demonstrated good behaviour while on bail, there is no further need to imprison him, as he has proven that he is not a danger to society any further. Prison is the school of crime and is a negative environment filled with drugs, gangs and pro criminal attitudes and behaviours and values. I would like to know more information on this man's background life and mitigating factors, but I agree with the supervised probation as a recommended sentence for this man along with emotion management, substance abuse, violence prevention programming. Jail is not necessary to protect the public from this man.