September 02, 2015 - 6:30 PM
KAMLOOPS - A homeless man convicted of aggravated assault for stabbing a grocery-store security guard with a used syringe in British Columbia's Interior has been sentenced to 31 months in prison.
B.C. Supreme Court Justice Dev Dley wrote in an Aug. 10 decision posted online Wednesday that Jonathan Fernandez, 42, was aware the needle he employed as a weapon was "dirty."
The confrontation took place at the former Extra Foods in Kamloops, where Fernandez stuck a syringe into the hand of a guard who stopped him for alleged shoplifting.
"I got you once, I'll get you again," court documents quote Fernandez saying as he left the scene.
Fernandez had tested positive for Hepatitis C, was homeless and living off a disability pension and suffered from severe heroin and crystal methamphetamine addiction.
"It is apparent that the assault with the needle has caused (the guard) physical symptoms, along with the anxiety and the distress of not knowing whether he had been infected," said Dley.
Dley's decision cited Fernandez's lengthy criminal record and "extensive" list of offences, beginning in 1990 when he was convicted of armed robbery.
A court-ordered report said Fernandez had a difficult upbringing.
He likely suffered from fetal alcohol syndrome, it said, and was exposed to drugs and alcohol — as well as physical and sexual abuse — while a child moving through the foster-care system.
The judgment said Fernandez recognizes he has "demons to face" and accepts responsibility for his crime.
"Mr. Fernandez is a well-spoken man," said Dley. "I accept that he is genuine in his desire to seek treatment both in an institution and after he is released."
Fernandez received credit for about four and a half months he has already served and was ordered to spend one year on probation following his release.
News from © The Canadian Press, 2015