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Good character doesn't excuse Vernon man from paying the price for "vicious" night club assault

FILE PHOTO: Monashee's Bar & Grill
July 31, 2017 - 9:00 PM

VERNON - The Court of Appeal has upped the jail sentence for a young Vernon man convicted of a brutal bar assault that left his victim with short-term memory loss.

Lucas Allen Slizak, 25, sucker punched a 23-year-old man at Monashee’s Bar & Grill Sept. 21, 2014, leaving him unconscious. He then raised his knee to hip level and stomped on the man’s head, according to a written judgement from the B.C. Court of Appeal. Slizak was not intoxicated and during sentencing, told the court he took responsibility for what happened but couldn’t explain why he did it.

Slizak was originally sentenced to a three-month intermittent sentence, meaning he could serve the time in pieces. The Crown, however, successfully appealed that sentence, leaving Slizak with significantly more time behind bars. Instead of three months, he will now have to serve 18 months.

Justice David Harris said the sentencing judge failed to properly reflect the gravity of the offence and treated the assault as if it were a consensual or “idiot” fight that escalated out of control.

“The fact is that the attack on (the victim) was unprovoked. (He) was a smaller man than Mr. Slizak. Mr. Slizak sucker punched (the victim) who was vulnerable and defenceless. He hit him so hard that (he) collapsed unconscious. Mr. Slizak then took the time to take steps towards (him), raise his foot to hip level and stamp on his head. He walked away, leaving (him) lying in a pool of blood. This latter part of the assault was a cold and calculated act. It was vicious,” Harris said.

The victim, who didn’t know Slizak, suffered serious injuries including fractures to his nasal bones and a traumatic brain injury which left him with short-term memory loss. He was in the hospital for two weeks and has suffered socially and economically as a result of the attack.

Harris noted the assault was out of character for Slizak, a young man with no prior criminal record. Save for this incident, he appears to be a man of good character who had a momentary lapse of control, Harris said. Despite his good character, lack of need for rehabilitation, his family and community support and excellent prospects for the future, Harris said three months was simply not long enough for the vicious attack.

“The fact that it was out of character, inexplicable, or the result of a momentary lapse, does not detract from these conclusions,” Harris said.


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