November 20, 2013 - 5:16 PM
KAMLOOPS - A TRU international student is headed to jail after a violent assault at a local nightclub last year.
"(It was) more an accident than a deliberate act," said Justice Richard Goepel during a sentencing decision today in B.C. Supreme Court in Kamloops.
Goepel called the assault 'reckless' and 'negligent' and handed Yousef Almotairi, 27, six months in prison for aggravated assault and assault with a weapon.
Almotairi was found guilty of jabbing the pool cue into the eye of Abdulaziz Alhedaib, who was celebrating his birthday at Cactus Jacks Nightclub, Nov. 3, 2012 in Kamloops. Alhedaib spent five months in hospital after the attack with brain damage and partial paralysis and missed three semesters of school.
The two were both international students at the time and knew each other through school and mutual friends.
Crown prosecutor Chris Balison recommended Almotairi serve two and a half years in prison due to the nature of the assault and implications on the victim. He also recommended the sentence to deter bar fights in general.
Defence lawyer Michelle Stanford asked for a suspended sentence or an intermittent sentence. She asked the judge to consider the crime, not the ramifications and said Almotairi could appeal deportation if imprisoned no longer than six months.
Goepel acknowledged the serious impacts the incident has had on the victim, but he said he could not look to the 'tragic consequences' as to the appropriate remedy.
"Mr. Almotairi has never been in trouble with the law," he said. "He is not at risk to reoffend."
"He responded spontaneously, there was no premeditation."
Almotairi faces six months in jail and a weapons prohibition. His deportation status is unclear. As a student in Canada on a visa from Saudi Arabia, Canada Border Services Agency has the ability to deport him, and a review is expected once criminal matters have been dealt with. Almotairi may be able to appeal deportation based on his sentence.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013