Judge orders Vernon man guilty of brazen daytime knife attack to take his medications | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Judge orders Vernon man guilty of brazen daytime knife attack to take his medications

Vernon Courthouse
January 31, 2020 - 3:52 PM

A Vernon man who attempted to stab another man through the sunroof of a vehicle parked in a downtown Vernon parking lot last summer was released from custody today, after receiving a sentence of time served.

Judge Richard Hewson sentenced Stephen Curtis Smith to 225 days jail time today, Jan. 31, for the incident on May 30, 2019, as well as another assault that had happened two weeks earlier.

Appearing in the Vernon courtroom via video from detention, Smith appeared not to understand his sentence or the fact he was to be released.

"What's going on? I don't know what's going on... so I'm still sitting in jail?" Smith said before the judge told him to speak to his lawyer and ordered the monitor turned off.

While details of the incident weren't widely discussed in court, an eyewitness told iNFOnews.ca she saw Smith chasing someone with "a large knife" near the parking lot 32 Avenue in Vernon. As the man being chased got into a vehicle and locked the doors, Smith attempted to stab the man through the sunroof of the vehicle. The events all took place during the day with plenty of people around.

An earlier assault in May 2019 had left another man with injuries to his head. Judge Hewson described the attack as "unprovoked."

Defence lawyer Michael Patterson told the court his 42-year-old client had serious mental health issues which were the "underlining problem." Smith has a lengthy criminal record and Patterson said he hoped a probation order that mandated his client to follow the directions of a psychiatrist would allow him to "break the continuous cycle of jail, court, and jail."

Smith pled guilty to charges of assault with a weapon, possessing a weapon for a dangerous purpose and breach of probation at an earlier court appearance Dec. 30, 2019.

In a joint submission Jan. 30, the Crown and defence lawyers asked for a seven-and-a-half month sentence followed by 12 months probation.

Judge Hewson set out conditions for the probation which included reporting to psychiatric services and taking all medication prescribed to him by professionals in charge of his mental health care.

While Smith was released for detention today, Jan. 31, he will be back in court in the near future facing a charge of mischief causing damage under $5,000, for an incident that took place while he was in custody.

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