Kamloops man sentenced to over five years for meth-induced violent attack - InfoNews

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Kamloops man sentenced to over five years for meth-induced violent attack

March 14, 2019 - 5:30 PM

KAMLOOPS — A Kamloops man has been sentenced to five years and six months in prison for a series of offences including a violent attack against the woman who offered him a place to stay while he was out on bail.

The woman who Isaih Brian Demphsey Holt, 23, assaulted cried loudly in Kamloops Supreme Court today, March 14, as Justice Sheri Ann Donegan read her reasons for Holt's sentence.

Holt has pleaded guilty to six counts in two separate incidents. The first incident involves Holt's possession of a loaded restricted firearm from Dec. 4, 2017, and the second involves an assault against two people, one of whom was seriously injured on Aug. 28, 2018.

Holt was found in possession of a sawed-off shotgun during a traffic stop on the North Shore in December 2017. An RCMP officer was on regular patrol when he noticed a vehicle of interest in the area. The constable followed the vehicle for several minutes before pulling the vehicle over in a shopping mall parking lot.

The officer noticed the female driver of the vehicle did not have a valid licence and the front seat passenger, Blake Bernhard, was well known to police. The officer also saw some activity within the vehicle that concerned him. The constable saw Bernhard messing around at his feet and then saw him twist his body towards the backseat passengers. Given Bernhard's history, the officer assumed he was trying to conceal a weapon.

More officers arrived, and all four occupants of the vehicle were removed and the car was searched, Donegan said.

"Baggies of cocaine were found scattered in the backseat, the search also revealed a small bag on the floor... shoved slightly under the driver's seat as if in an attempt had been made to conceal it," Donegan said. 

The bag contained a sawed-off shotgun and ammunition in its chamber. Holt was arrested that day.

Holt's trial commenced on Aug. 21, 2018, but after a delay, Holt was granted bail on Aug. 22, 2018. Shortly after being released from bail, Holt relapsed back into drug use. One of Holt's friend's ex-girlfriend offered him a place to stay but he quickly began using crystal meth consistently over the next three days.

The judge says on the night of the attack, the woman noticed Holt had been acting bizarre and even told her he was possessed with dark powers and suggested he was into violence and "cult stuff."

"Although she was concerned by his behavior, she eventually went to bed," Donegan said. She was woken up by noise and went to the living room to investigate.

"There she saw Mr. Holt growling, grunting and bearing his teeth at her," Donegan said. "He was also muttering in an unknown language."

Without warning, Holt attacked the woman by punching, kicking, and biting her even after she fell on the ground.

"He told her he would kill her," Donegan said. 

A neighbor heard the woman's repeated cries for help and came over. The neighbour pulled Holt off of her and was headbutted by Holt, however, he was not injured.

The woman was taken to the hospital by ambulance and was bedridden for five days following the assault. She suffered physically and emotionally, Donegan said. 

Her physical injuries included bruising, pain in her ribs, scarring in various parts of her body from bite marks, a scar to her upper lip from a punch to her mouth and numbness to her thumb from a bite.

Donegan says the woman initially felt responsible for the attack.

"She lives in ongoing fear of Mr. Holt, as do her other family members," Donegan said. "She barricades her doors at night."

Holt has been in custody since. He is of Indigenous descent and comes from a "very disadvantaged" background, court heard.

Holt's father was abusive and an alcoholic, his mother was schizophrenic, bipolar and addicted to crack cocaine and heroin.

From a young age, he was exposed to drug use and domestic violence, Donegan said, and at more than one point was in the care of the ministry.

By 16, he was couch surfing and out on the streets. He turned to cocaine and crystal meth to cope and eventually became addicted. 

His criminal behavior started when Holt was still a youth, Donegan said.

Donegan sentenced Holt to five years and six months. Taking into account the time he has already served in custody which is just under two years, his new time to be served will be three years and seven months.

Holt was also handed a lifetime weapons prohibition and is obliged to pay $2,000 to the woman he assaulted.

Holt apologized to his victim saying he has little memory of that night.

"I really hate the fact that everybody, especially you, live in fear of me," he says. "I wish there was something I could do... I am deeply sorry."

The woman stated she has already forgiven Holt for what he did.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Karen Edwards or call (250) 819-3723 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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