Fatal sucker punch lands Burnaby man in prison for two years | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Fatal sucker punch lands Burnaby man in prison for two years

Lady Justice (the Goddess of Justice in Greek mythology).
October 16, 2019 - 1:31 PM

For fatally sucker-punching a 22-year-old man with mental health issues in an act of vigilante justice, Burnaby resident Lawrence Sharpe was sentenced to two years and six days in prison.

Sharpe was convicted of manslaughter March 2 for the fatal July 12, 2017 attack at a Burnaby Starbucks. His girlfriend Oldouz Pournouruz, who allegedly demanded retaliatory action when Michael Page-Vincelli called her a name and threw a lit cigarette at her in the Starbucks parking lot, was also charged with manslaughter and found not guilty.

“Page-Vincelli was, at the time of his death, struggling with addiction, depression, and mental health issues,” according to a decision from Justice Mary Humphries made in September 2019 and posted online this week.

“Efforts were being made to connect him with community resources to assist him. He spent hours hanging around this particular (Burnaby’s Kensington) plaza by himself.”

The case could be considered required reading for many residents frustrated with anti-social behaviour and the potential consequences of taking matters into their own hands. 

He ran afoul of Sharpe and Pournouruz when they were running errands and had gone to the Royal Bank in Kensington Plaza. Pournouruz was waiting in the driver's seat of the car, having a cigarette, while Sharpe went into the bank.

Page-Vincelli was leaning against the wall of the bank, and Pournouruz told the court he’d been staring at her. She said she looked away several times, but he continued to look at her.

She turned away and, when she turned back, he was at her driver's window.

"That's what you get for saying no,” she told the court, Justice Humphries wrote. When she looked down there was a lit cigarette on her chest.

They argued and Page-Vincelli called her a racial slur.

Pournouruz said her boyfriend was in the bank and Page-Vincelli replied; "Go get your boy. I'll get my boys."

He went to Starbucks and went into the bank and told Sharpe. Together they went back to Starbucks.

“Pournouruz opened the door to Starbucks, saw the man, motioned towards him, and Sharpe stepped out from behind her and punched him,” Justice Humphries wrote.

The whole episode was caught on video and showed that Page-Vincelli was walking toward the door of the coffee shop, eating a bag of chips when he was hit. 

The force of the punch knocked Page-Vincelli back, causing his head to smack the floor, fracturing his skull and rendering him brain dead.

The couple walked out of the Starbucks as he lay on the ground.

“Sharpe did not intend the consequences of his thoughtless act, but the punch itself was an intentional assault, done on the spur of the moment, in response to a lit cigarette thrown on his girlfriend and prompted by her frightened reaction at the episode that had just occurred with Mr. Page-Vincelli,” wrote Justice Mary Humphries in the decision posted this week.

“Mr. Sharpe will always live with the consequences of his hasty and unlawful act, that is, the death of a young man beloved by his family.”

To contact a reporter for this story, email Kathy Michaels or call 250-718-0428 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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