By Shurtz, Delon on September 9, 2020.
A 20-year-old Lethbridge man with recent criminal convictions for assault and robbery has been sent to jail for his involvement in a gang-style attack on a younger boy.
Alexander Roxby Styra was sentenced last week in Lethbridge provincial court to 16 months in jail, but after being given credit for 406 days spent in pre-trial custody, he has only two and half months remaining on his sentence.
Styra pleaded guilty in June to one charge each of aggravated assault and theft over $5,000, and admitted participating in the beating of a 16-year-old boy on Dec. 5, 2019.
At about midnight on that date the boy and an 18-year-old woman were walking in a dark alley just off Mayor Magrath Drive North, when the boy was attacked from behind by five people and stabbed.
The victim was taken to the Chinook Regional Hospital with stab wounds to his back and suspected paralysis in one leg. He was then flown by STARS air ambulance to Calgary.
Crown Prosecutor Darwyn Ross said during a previous hearing that the boy faces months of rehabilitation and treatment but is doing reasonably well considering his early prognosis.
During the police investigation of the assault, officers found a van that had been stolen Dec. 5 from a business on 13 Street North. The van was found parked behind an apartment building at 210 Mayor Magrath Dr. N., and inside one of the apartments police found a BB gun hidden in the oven, a bloody three-inch folding knife hidden above a window in one of the bedrooms, and the victim’s cellphone that was hidden in the toilet.
Styra was charged as a party to the offence, along with two teenage boys and 18-year-old Trinity Savard, who is charged with aggravated assault and scheduled to be in court today. The two teens, who can’t be identified because of their age, return to court Sept. 24. They are each charged with aggravated assault. One of the boys is also charged with threats to cause death or bodily harm and obstructing a peace officer, while the other boy faces an additional charge of assault with a weapon.
The Crown was seeking custody for two years, while Calgary lawyer Shaun Leochko had asked for time already served plus probation, which would allow the offender to attend a residential treatment centre.
During sentencing, Judge Paul Pharo pointed out several aggravating factors, and noted the victim, who was greatly outnumbered and had little chance to defend himself, sustained serious injuries, from which he continues to suffer.
The attack was also premeditated and carefully planned, and when it was over, the attackers fled the scene without calling for help, leaving the bleeding boy in the alley. Styra was on probation at the time of the attack.
Pharo also noted some mitigating factors, including Styra’s guilty plea. He said Styra is remorseful and co-operated with police during their investigation, and he is motivated to seek treatment so he can change his life.
In addition to his jail sentence, Styra will be on probation for two years, during which he is to attend for assessment and counselling for substance abuse and as otherwise directed. He is not to consume alcohol or drugs and he is to abide by a curfew from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. every day unless he’s in treatment or working.
He is also prohibited for life from possessing weapons, and he must submit a sample of his DNA for the National DNA Databank.
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