16-year-old Vernon girl avoids detention after 'cowardly' assault | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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16-year-old Vernon girl avoids detention after 'cowardly' assault

Vernon Courthouse


A 16-year-old Vernon girl who committed a "cowardly and violent assault" on a so-called friend because she was "talking shit" about her has avoided being sent to a juvenile detention centre.

According to a recently published June 5 BC Provincial Court decision, the 15-year-old victim was kicked and punched in the face and head at least 36 times before being bear sprayed.

The pre-meditated attack was also filmed and the video shared.

The decision said the 16-year-old attacker, referred to as A.L.C. in the document had once been friends with the victim but had heard friends gossip that the victim was "talking shit" about them.

A.L.C. arranged to meet the victim, referred to as S.M.R., and while suspicious S.M.R. agreed to meet.

"Before S.M.R. arrived, A.L.C. directed that none of her friends initiate the attack. She described the assault as her opportunity to have revenge and her 'right' to have the first strikes," Judge David Patterson said in the decision.

One other female friend joined A.L.C. in the attack and another male friend then bear-sprayed the victim while she lay on the ground.

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The judge called it a "brazen attack that was poorly thought out and based on immature motives."

While at least two other teens were involved in the attack there is no mention in the court documents that anyone else is facing repercussions for the violence.

The decision said the 15-year-old victim moved away from Vernon because of the attack and didn't submit a Victim Impact Statement.

Courts use Victim Impact Statements to assess the gravity of the harm caused by the offence and Judge Patterson is highly critical of the Crown prosecutors for not putting enough effort into obtaining a statement.

The decision said the Crown wrote to the last known address for the victim asking for a statement.

"There was no serious effort made by the BC Prosecution Service to fulfil its duty in law to acquire if (the victim) or her family members affected by the violent assault had received the letter, never mind the degree to which S.M.R. and her family wanted to participate," the judge said.

Judge Patterson said while A.L.R.'s moral blameworthiness is high he believed that she was truly sorry and had shown genuine remorse.

The decision said the 16-year-old has a long history of violence and has been in multiple fights during her childhood.

"If someone insulted or taunted her, she would 'deal with the beef' by fighting or threatening the person," the decision read.

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A.L.R.'s father had been violent with her as a child and he struggled with alcoholism and poor anger management.

In Grade 7 A.L.R. started using cannabis and by Grade 8 was consistently stoned all day every day. At 14 years old she was drinking on a near daily basis.

"(She) was easily provoked into violence or crime while under the influence of alcohol due to being more easily manipulated by antisocial peers," the judge said.

She started taking cocaine and amphetamines and hanging out with older men who could provide her with booze and drugs. This led to her being sexually assaulted on two separate occasions.

READ MORE: Crown decides against charges for three Kamloops cops

In 2022, she was admitted to an Adolescent Psychiatric Unit after her mother found a suicide note.

A year later, she attempted suicide attempt while at school by tying a belt around her neck in a bathroom stall.

The Judge said she had faced her drug and alcohol addiction disorder head-on, and had an "earnest desire to live a lawful and productive life moving forward."

Ultimately, the judge accepted a joint submission from Crown and defence lawyers and agreed not to send her to youth detention.

Instead, the teen was placed on probation for 12 months with a curfew from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. for the first three months.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ben Bulmer or call (250) 309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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