A man who stabbed a Good Samaritan near Qualicum Beach and stole his vehicle was handed a four-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to a number of charges at provincial court in Nanaimo this week.
During sentencing on Thursday, it was revealed Jeffrey Brian MacDonald, 32, had stolen a car on Sept. 21, 2016 and crashed. A passerby stopped to assist and MacDonald assaulted the man and fled in his truck. The victim survived.
In the weeks leading to that incident, MacDonald was involved in three car thefts and robberies in Nanaimo and Ladysmith. He also violated probation from a previous conviction for possession of theft instruments. MacDonald was previously convicted of stabbing a person and pepper-spraying another after attempting to steal a car.
Nick Barber, Crown counsel, sought a sentence of six years less time served stating MacDonald has a criminal record and the offences were serious and violent. Babak Zargarian, MacDonald’s legal counsel, asked Judge J. Douglas Cowling for a global sentence of four years, less five days, referring to findings of a pre-sentencing report from the Gladue Writers Society of B.C., given MacDonald’s aboriginal heritage. MacDonald has European and Cree ancestry.
Zargarian said that a number of MacDonald’s relatives, including his mother, attended residential school and were addicted to alcohol. MacDonald was sexually abused as a child by a relative, said Zargarian, and his mother was killed due to a drug debt in 1996. He became addicted to alcohol and drugs and he was expelled from a number of schools, as he would get into fights because of bullying.
MacDonald addressed the court, apologizing for his actions and said he has done a lot of soul searching and reflecting and words couldn’t express how sorry he was for everyone that he hurt. He said his actions were brought on by his addiction.
Cowling said it was too early to give up on MacDonald. Cowling recommended MacDonald serve his time at Nanaimo Correctional Centre and be considered for Guthrie House, a therapeutic community at the centre for offenders with addictions.
MacDonald has been in custody since Sept. 23, 2016 and with credit for time served, will spend an additional 242 days in jail and will be subject to probation upon release.
He will be prohibited from possessing firearms, and also weapons or tools of use for criminal activity except for purposes of employment. He is forbidden from possessing or consuming alcohol and drugs, unless it is prescription medication. He must successfully complete treatment and attend a restorative justice session as directed by his probation officer.
He will have to abide by a 10 p.m.-6 a.m. curfew for one year upon release.