After more than three years of court appearances, a Vernon man found out how much time he’ll serve after he was convicted of stabbing two brothers with a knife, causing life-threatening injuries to one of the victims.
Justice Murray Blok gave his decision in the sentencing of Samule McIntosh on Friday morning at the Vernon Law Courts, handing the 37-year-old a three-year jail sentence.
McIntosh was found guilty by jury of aggravated assault and assault with a weapon on May 14, 2019. In his statements, Justice Blok provided some details of the events that took place on the day of the offence in August 2016.
Dayton Martens had spotted McIntosh and recognized him to be a person who had had a “run-in” with an extended relative of his.
An altercation ensued, and McIntosh inflicted three knife wounds in Dayton’s neck area
The jury in the May 2019 trial did not find McIntosh to be the instigator of the altercation with Dayton, but also ruled out self-defence as a reasonable grounds for the assault.
Minutes after stabbing Dayton, McIntosh initiated an altercation with Dakota Martens, who came looking for his brother. McIntosh, by his own admission, struck first in anticipation of a fight, stabbing Dakota in the neck area and leaving him with non-life-threatening injuries.
The judge sided with the Crown in finding a handful of aggravating factors against McIntosh, the most significant being the seriousness of Dayton’s injury.
“What stands out in this case is the terrible injury,” said Blok, referencing the knife wound that ran from the base of Dayton’s skull to his upper back, 15 cm in length and 10 cm wide. “It is difficult to convey its significance in words.”
Blok said that if not for urgent medical attention, Dayton’s injuries could have been fatal.
In addition to mental and physical suffering, the judge added that Dayton lost an self-estimated $12,000 after missing four months of work while recovering from his injuries.
McIntosh’s sentencing was delayed considerably after he was struck by a vehicle while on a bicycle in November 2017. Following the accident, McIntosh said he used a wheelchair when travelling downtown and a walker and cane while at his home.
McIntosh was set to be sentenced in October 2019 but a lack of medical information left Blok unable to make a decision, as defence lawyer Ray Dieno argued that McIntosh could not be properly accommodated in jail given his physical limitations.
However, in Thursday’s hearing the Crown pointed to an updated pre-sentence report as evidence that McIntosh’s injuries were not serious enough to justify a suspended sentence.
The author of the report was quoted as having seen McIntosh walking with a cane in downtown Vernon. That new information contradicted McIntosh’s claim that he needed a wheelchair to get around outside of his home.
“The theme that runs through the rest of this pre-sentence report is of Mr. McIntosh failing to take steps to address his medical issues,” said Crown lawyer Laura McPheeters, citing a number of reports from doctors and physicians who said McIntosh had failed to consistently show up to medical appointments – including ones scheduled to take place at his home.
Justice Blok described the sentence length as “significant,” and pointed to McIntosh’s past criminal record (22 total charges) and lack of remorse as factors supporting a lengthier sentence.
“He sees nothing wrong with what he did,” Blok said.
In Thursday’s hearing, while addressing Justice Blok, McIntosh returned to an argument of self-defence.
“I did not mean to harm anybody,” he said in a statement that spanned nearly 10 minutes. “I did what I did in order to survive.”
McIntosh is credited with 89 days for time served in custody, putting his total remaining jail time after today’s sentencing at 1,006 days. He also has a lifetime firearms ban, and is prohibited from making any communication with either of the Martens brothers or their extended relative who Dayton had beleived had some past encounter with McIntosh.
The Crown was seeking consecutive sentences for the two assaults, but Blok ultimately handed McIntosh concurrent sentences of three years and six months.