Boy shows no remorse for part in vicious beating
South Peace News
A 15-year-old Grouard boy says he is innocent despite being found guilty of being part of a mob that savagely beat a defenseless man.
The boy appeared in High Prairie youth court June 16 for sentencing on charges of aggravated assault, assault with a weapon and failing to comply with a probation order. He was earlier found guilty of the charges during a trial.
"He still maintains his innocence," said the boy's lawyer, Harry Jong. "It's a case of mistaken identity."
Judge Thomas R. Goodson replied, however, he found the boy guilty for his part in the beating.
"You deny your involvement but the evidence was clearly before me and I found you guilty of aggravated assault," said Judge Goodson.
The boy's name cannot be published due to provisions in the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
Crown prosecutor Mila Mydliar began sentencing arguments by submitting two victim impact statements for Judge Goodson's consideration. Jong immediately objected saying only the victim can provide the statement, not the spouse and daughter. Mydliar countered saying the victim can provide a statement on behalf of the victim.
"The victim is incapable of writing the statement," she said. "He has difficulty concentrating."
Judge Goodson agreed saying the victim has trouble reading since the assault. He agreed with Jong, however, saying that according to the Criminal Code the statements could not be allowed.
"I am unable to admit the statement," he said.
Mydliar asked for custody and a supervision order.
"It was a brutal, vicious attack on a defenseless man," she said.
Youth court was presented with an assessment from the Alberta Mental Health Board that clearly indicated the boy showed no remorse for his part in the beating. The boy smiled and shuffled nervously during arguments.
Mydliar lost the battle over presenting the victim impact statement but won the war when the probation officer attached the statements to his report. Despite Jong's objection, Judge Goodson allowed it saying it was common for probation officers to present material that was accepted by court.
Jong immediately stated he objected to the judge's decision.
The boy, who had spent seven weeks in custody before appearing in youth court, was sentenced to 18 months for the aggravated assault. The first 12 months will be spent is secure custody, the remaining six in supervision. He was also sentenced concurrently to six months on the assault with a weapon count and failing to comply with a probation order.
The boy was also slapped with a 10-year firearms prohibition and ordered to submit a DNA sample to authorities.
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