By Delon Shurtz on July 23, 2021.
An 18-year-old man who was only 16 when he and a group of friends attacked and brutally beat another teenager, has been sent to jail.
The man, who can’t be identified because he was a youth at the time of the offence, pleaded guilty Wednesday in Lethbridge provincial court to one count of aggravated assault, and was sentenced to six months of custody, followed by three months of community supervision.
According to an agreed statement of facts accepted by the court, the offender was part of a group who attacked the male teenager about midnight on Dec. 5, 2019. Another member of the group had arranged to meet the victim nearby while the rest of the group hid in an alley just off Mayor Magrath Drive and 2 Avenue North. As the woman, who had just turned 18, and her victim walked through the alley, the group swarmed him from behind and he was pushed to the ground where he was punched, kicked and stabbed at least three times.
Although the offender who was sentenced Wednesday did not stab the victim, he punched the boy several times and was considered a party to the stabbing.
Trinity Savard, who is also accused of participating in the attack, pleaded not guilty to aggravated assault and stood trial in April of this year. During the trial, the victim testified that while he was being kicked and punched, one of theÂ attackers got on top of him and stabbed him in the back before everyone ran away.
He was paralyzed from the waist down and had to be flown to a Calgary hospital where he remained for several months. He still has difficulty walking and has not regained all of his balance, he testified, and he occasionally has “shooting pain” in his thigh.
Although Savard, who now lives in B.C., did not stab the boy, she was also charged as party to the offence. The Crown and defence are expected to provide the judge their arguments in that case later this month.
Another youth who testified during Savard’s trial admitted he stabbed the victim. He pleaded guilty previously in youth court and is scheduled to be sentenced next month. AndÂ aÂ 20-year-old man, who was also considered a party to the offence, was charged with aggravated assault and theft over $5,000. He pleaded guilty to the charges in June of 2020 and was sentenced the following September to 16 months in jail, minus 13 1/2 months for time he spent in pre-trial custody.
Following the attack, the group returned to an apartment, where the police later arrived and arrested everyone, including the young man from Wednesday’s sentencing hearing.Â He resisted arrest and had to be forcibly taken to the ground.
When police searched the apartment the following day, they seized a small foldable knife used in the attack, as well as a small steak knife and a large butcher knife.
Lethbridge lawyer Scott Hadford told court his client has lived in several foster homes in various southern Alberta communities since he was about 10 years old, and it was only in the past year that he found support in a home where he has been able to make changes and clean up his life.
“He’s no longer affiliated with a gang,” Hadford added.
He said the young man has shown remorse since finding a new home in which to live, and Hadford is confident his client won’t re-offend.
In addition to his sentence, the offender must submit a sample of his DNA for the National DNA Databank, and he is prohibited from possessing weapons for two years.
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