Meth addict who stabbed random Kamloops stranger in the neck sentenced | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Meth addict who stabbed random Kamloops stranger in the neck sentenced

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May 26, 2021 - 1:48 PM

A meth addict who stabbed a random stranger in the neck on a Kamloops street in 2020 was sentenced to another 140 days in prison earlier this month.

Kenneth Ernest McLeod has already spent roughly 15 months in prison while awaiting trial for assault with a weapon, for which he eventually pleaded guilty.

The incident happened near Rogers Place in Kamloops Feb. 16, 2020, according to a recently published decision. Munish Mahajan, a TRU international student, was out with friends, leaving the Wok Inn and waiting for a cab around 11 p.m.

McLeod, who was already in violation of court orders requiring him to live in Saskatchewan and under a curfew, happened upon them by chance. He produced two knives and stabbed Mahajan in the neck “for no apparent reason,” Justice Len Marchand said in the decision.

Mahajan survived. He was taken to Royal Inland Hospital where the two centimetre gash was closed with four stitches but the psychological wounds weren’t so easy to close.

"As a result of the attack, Mr. Mahajan was traumatized,” Marchand wrote. "He is fearful of strangers and of being out in the dark. He suffers from nightmares. He worries that he could have been killed, leaving his family without his financial and emotional support. As a result of his fears, he had to leave Kamloops. He quit school, quit his job and moved to Alberta to find work. He suffered substantial financial losses, including his paid tuition.”

McLeod has a lengthy criminal history including 30 youth and 69 adult criminal convictions, largely borne of a horrific and tragic upbringing. His school history ends in Grade 2. He has fetal alcohol disorder and substance use disorder. He started drinking at age ten and started using heroin at age 12.

"At the time of the... offence, Mr. McLeod was not suffering from a mental disorder,” Marchand wrote. "Rather, he was in active addiction and struggling with paranoia and fearfulness, likely caused by prolonged methamphetamine use. Mr. McLeod says voices in his head told him that Mr. Mahajan and his friends were going to hurt him. He maintains that he did not mean to hurt anyone.”

While the Crown sought three years in prison, Marchand settled on two years and three months in prison but he has already spent 453 days in custody before sentencing, which the court assessed as equivalent to 680 days served post-sentencing leaving him with 140 more days in prison.

He is also on probation for another 18 months following his release.

Marchand said McLeod appears to have finally taken some rehabilitative steps while in custody on this offence.

"Mr. McLeod, you experienced the kind of childhood that no one deserves. That was not your fault. You, better than anyone else in the courtroom, recognize that you have the ability to lead a better life. It will take a daily commitment to living clean and sober. It will not be easy but you have reached the stage in your life where I sincerely believe you can do it. Your family and your community need you to be at your best. Good luck."

"Mr. Mahajan, I am very sorry about all that you have been through. Your time in Canada should have been peaceful, happy and productive. In sentencing Mr. McLeod, I am unable to replace what you have lost but hope you can put the trauma of February 16, 2020 behind you as you strive for a better life for yourself and your family. I wish you and your family the very best in the future."

To contact a reporter for this story, email Marshall Jones or call 250-718-2724 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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