June 25th, 2024

Inmate receives five months for assaulting jail guards


By Delon Shurtz - Lethbridge Herald on January 26, 2023.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDdshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

A former Lethbridge man serving a two-year prison term for robbery and other criminal offences will serve even more time in custody after being found guilty of assaulting two jail guards.

Tresor Nkuba, who received a penitentiary term last summer and was sent to the Edmonton Institution, a maximum security prison, was sentenced Tuesday to five months in custody after he pleaded guilty in Lethbridge provincial court to two counts of assault and one count of breaching probation.

At about 7:30 a.m. on May 13 of last year, while Nkuba was in custody at the Lethbridge Correctional Centre, two guards conducting a cellblock security check opened Nkuba’s cell door and were attacked by the inmate.

“The accused repeatedly struck (the officer) in the face,” explained Crown Prosecutor Kristi Adams, who pointed out the officer sustained injuries to his lips and forehead. “The accused then repeatedly struck the other officer.”

The officers were able to subdue the prisoner and took him to the ground, but he continued to swear at them and attempted to spit on them. When he refused to stop spitting, officers put a spit mask over his face and took him to another area to be assessed.

Nkuba, 28, was sentenced to four months for the assaults, and another 30 days for breaching probation after he was released from the Lethbridge Correctional Centre last June. Nkuba had been ordered to report to probation within two days after his release, but he never checked in.

Lethbridge lawyer Marcus Mueller said his client immigrated to Canada after he and his family fled the second Congo War that raged between 1998 and 2003. As a result, he suffers from “extreme” PTSD, which can be triggered simply by watching a TV show and hearing a gunshot.

“He witnessed, really, the worst things you can imagine, your honour; people being murdered, people being lynched, things of that nature,” Mueller said.

Nkuba, who appeared in court by CCTV from the Edmonton Institution, was sentenced to two years in prison after he pleaded guilty last July to robbery, possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose, and failure to comply with a probation order.

Nkuba had entered a liquor store on 5 Street South, hid a bottle of rum in his pants then attempted to pay for a second bottle. The clerk confronted him about the other bottle, and Nkuba pulled out a corkscrew and swung it at two employees before fleeing with the bottle. An employee followed him to the courthouse where Nkuba began drinking from the bottle.

At the time of the robbery Nkuba was on probation that prohibited him from possessing any weapons when outside of his residence.

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