Two Winnipeg men have admitted to a brutal attack around a bonfire which ended with their so-called friend being stabbed in the neck, the tip of the knife breaking off and lodging near his spine.
Amazingly, the victim escaped life-threatening injuries and made a full recovery, save for some scarring on his face.
Mark Woodcock and Tyler Hiebert both pleaded guilty on Thursday to aggravated assault. Woodcock was given 20 months in jail for his role, while Hiebert received 18 months of supervised probation. The sentences were part of a joint-recommendation from Crown and defence lawyers.
The victim, accused and several others had gathered inside a Winnipeg park on the evening of Sept. 14, 2010 to share some drinks and laughs, court was told. But the party took an ugly turn when Woodcock began making sexual advances towards the victim’s girlfriend.
The victim and Woodcock came to blows, ending with Woodcock headbutting him at least three times, knocking him to the ground, pulling out a knife, slashing his face and jamming it into his throat, court was told. Hiebert also jumped in, throwing at least one punch at the victim.
The victim was able to call 911 to get medical help and was rushed to hospital where he underwent surgery to remove the tip of the knife. Fortunately no vital organs were struck.
Both accused were arrested at the scene and were intoxicated, court was told. The men had no prior criminal records, which the Crown says played a factor in striking a plea bargain and recommending sentences which may be seen on the low-end of the spectrum.
Queen’s Bench Justice Don Bryk urged both accused to get their acts together and learn from this near-tragic incident or else risk spending much more of their futures behind bars.