Vernon man convicted of stabbing two people argues prison is no place for him - InfoNews

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Vernon man convicted of stabbing two people argues prison is no place for him

Samule McIntosh.
Image Credit: FACEBOOK/Samule McIntosh
January 30, 2020 - 2:44 PM

A Vernon man convicted of stabbing two brothers in 2016, who argued he should not go to prison because he was in a wheelchair, appeared in court today apparently in much better health.

Crown lawyer Laura McPheeters told the court that while Samule McIntosh had said his injuries - which occurred when he was hit by a car while cycling - were so severe he needed to use a wheelchair when in the community, he'd been seen using a walker while in downtown Vernon.

McPheeters continued to tell the court multiple delays in the case had been caused by McIntosh as he was trying to avoid going to prison.

The sentencing of the 37-year-old continued at the Vernon courthouse today, Jan. 30, following a three-month hiatus after Justice Murray Blok adjourned his sentencing Oct. 31, 2019, asking the lawyers for more evidence as to the condition of McIntosh's health.

"The sentencing this case has taken a slightly unusual course," Justice Blok told the court as the lawyers made submissions as to McIntosh's mental and physical well-being.

"My understanding was Mr. McIntosh was more seriously injured," defence lawyer Ray Dieno told the court as he began his submissions, arguing his client should not see any time behind bars.

McIntosh was convicted of aggravated assault and assault with a weapon for an incident that took place in downtown Vernon in August 2016. McIntosh claimed self-defence but a jury disagreed, finding him guilty of both charges in May 2019.

Details of the incident are vague with each side having a different version of the events. The court heard how McIntosh had encountered a minor confrontation with two brothers while in downtown Vernon in August 2016. Later the same day he and his ex-partner had bumped into the two brothers and a fight had occurred.

"(McIntosh) had no intent to instigate the confrontation," Dieno told the court.

"It cannot be lost on the court that he did not seek out and confront somebody... he felt threatened and he felt threatened for (his ex-partner)," the defence lawyer said.

Dieno said McIntosh had been living in the community for three-and-a-half-years since the incident and was not a threat to society.

The defence lawyer argued for a conditional sentence served in the community, while the Crown argued for three-and-a-half to four years of jail time.

McIntosh had entered the courtroom used a walker and sat in the dock listening to the submissions.

The majority of the court time was spent discussing McIntosh's health. In October 2019, the court had heard the prison system was unable to care adequately for McIntosh due to his injuries, which had taken place after the incident he was convicted for.

McPheeters disagreed saying she had submitted evidence to the court that both the provincial and federal prison systems were easily able to accommodate McIntosh. McPheeters also pointed out McIntosh's health was not as severe as he had led the court to believe.

The court lawyers said a pre-sentence report stated that McIntosh had said he needed to use a wheelchair when out in the community, but had been seen in downtown Vernon using a walker. The Crown said a scan has shown he would not need surgery even though he'd previously said he would.

McPheeters said numerous health care professionals reported he had missed "a bunch of appointments" and there was an "absence of effort" from him to address his injuries. Dressed in a dark suit McIntosh shook his head in disagreement from the dock.

The defence said McIntosh had been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and fetal alcohol effect at a young age, suffered from depression and had an "extremely problematic background."

McPheeters argued all the evidence as to McIntosh's mental health came from various psychiatric reports that were done roughly 15 years ago, and the findings did not apply to the present day.

The defence disagreed.

"To suggest this doesn't apply (today)... makes no sense at all," Dieno said.

While the lawyers continued with their lengthy deliberations concerning McIntosh's health, it appeared Justice Blok had had enough.

"I do want this case to end one day," the he said after the defence stood to refute the Crown's submission. The Justice quickly added he did not mean his comment as criticism.

When McIntosh was asked if he had anything to say, he stood in the dock supporting himself by holding onto the glass panel.

"You speak of what you don't know," McIntosh told the court. "I owe my recovery in what you see today to the Vernon recreation centre."

McIntosh said he used the pool daily which had aided his recovery.

He also added he'd only acted in self-defence.

"I did not mean to harm anybody... I did what I did in order to survive," he said.

Justice Blok adjourned the court saying he would sentence McIntosh tomorrow, Jan. 31.

— This story was corrected at 9:30 a.m. Friday, Jan. 31, 2020. An earlier version of this story said, "(McIntosh) took out a small pocket knife to fight the ninjas." In fact, the defence lawyer was referring to an earlier case from 2003.


To contact a reporter for this story, email Ben Bulmer or call (250) 309-5230 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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