Student due for deportation after causing brain damage


KAMLOOPS - An international student who stabbed another student in the eye with a pool cue faces deportation following his conviction, a defence lawyer said today.

"Mr. Almotairi is going to be deported one way or another no matter what sentence he serves," said defence lawyer Michelle Stanford.

A sentencing hearing was held today for Saudi Arabian foreign national Yousef Almotairi, 27, convicted of aggravated assault and assault with a weapon following an incident at Cactus Jacks Nightclub last November.

In a B.C. Supreme Court decision, Almotairi was found guilty of intentionally jabbing the pool cue into the eye of Abdulaziz Alhedaib, who was celebrating his birthday that night in Kamloops. Alhedaib spent five months in hospital after the attack with brain damage and partial paralysis.

The two were both international students at the time and knew each other through school and mutual friends.

The Crown is seeking two and a half years in prison for the offences, citing the severity of the 'aggressive and violent' assault and the implications on the victim. Prosecutor Chris Balison also said deterrence is needed for bar fights in general.

The typical sentencing range for Almotairi's crimes are 16 months to five years imprisonment.

"This was beyond a typical consentual fight in a bar," Balison said. "This is not a case where the court can impose the lowest end."

Stanford is asking for a suspended sentence or an intermittent sentence, saying Almotairi could appeal deportation with a sentence of less than six months.

She said it's important to address the crime, not the 'emotional response' to the ramifications and called the act an "unfortunate consequence of that momentary reaction."

She said Almotairi has no prior criminal history and merely reacted in the moment after being punched in the face by the victim.

"There is no evidence whatsoever that Mr. Almotairi deliberately tried to harm Mr. Alhedaib," she said.

Stanford said Almotairi has since been isolated in Canada and shamed back home, owes the Saudi Arabian embassy for substantial legal fees, won't be able to transfer his business education credits at TRU, had his passport seized by RCMP and — as of this morning — is now facing a civil lawsuit.

"The deportation is certainly a factor to consider," she said. "He has suffered much humiliation and stress."

As a student in Canada on a visa from Saudi Arabia, Canada Border Services Agency has the ability to deport Almotairi, and a review is expected once criminal matters are dealt with.

To contact a reporter for this story, email:, call: (250) 319-7494 or tweet: @jess__wallace.

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