February 28, 2014 - 7:24 PM
KAMLOOPS - A Kamloops teen who pleaded guilty to a life threatening assault won't see any more time in jail, a judge decided today.
Kamloops Provincial Court Judge Stephen Harrison said society is safer if the young man gets help rather than punishment and sentenced him to time served and 18 months probation. He said the assault that left Michael Forry, 46, clinging to life was brutal in nature but was not a predatory attack.
The youth, who cannot be named by law, got into an altercation with Forry on March 24, 2013 outside a Kamloops convenience store. Forry, who was drunk, shoved two of his friends and threatened the teen before the teen struck Forry over the head with his longboard. Forry was in a coma for several weeks and it took 49 screws and 52 staples to put his skull back together.
But Harrison was more concerned with the teen. He was neglected as a child and sexually assaulted multiple times in his short life, leaving him with post-traumatic stress disorder and numerous other disabilities. Police records showed he was involved in over 40 incidents but was never charged until the assault.
Since he was arrested, the teen finally got stability and found programs to help him. He's surrounded by mostly male staff he relates to and respects, one of few positive changes in his life.
“[He] likes his arrangement and wants to work with dealing with his problems,” Harrison said, whereas jail “would not teach the required social skills and subject him to further victimization.”
Harrison wished him well in treatment and advised him to make the best of it.
“You have been given an opportunity to make changes in your life, embrace it,” Harrison advised the boy. He told the boy that if he comes before the court again on similar charges he will be taken into custody. “If you return as an adult, it will be for a very long time.”
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014