Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 12/6/2009 (4551 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Oboc Amon, 23, pleaded guilty to aggravated assault Friday after spending 27 months behind bars awaiting trial.
Crown and defence lawyers agreed he didn't need to serve more time, but how much of his pre-trial custody would be allotted for the crime would have a direct impact on Amon's future.
The Crown said the full time should be counted at the usual two-for-one ratio, giving him a 54-month sentence.
Defence lawyer Ryan Rolston sought a term of less than two years, saying anything more would mean his client would get a one-way ticket out of Canada. Amon has been ordered deported based on his criminal record but is appealing the decision. A federal sentence of two years or more would negate the appeal and makes the decision final.
Queen's Bench Justice Shawn Greenberg agreed to give Amon a chance, sentencing him to two years less a day in custody. "A lengthy term of imprisonment would be counter-productive to Mr. Amon's continued rehabilitation," she said.
Greenberg said Amon has made "remarkable" progress since being released on bail and ordered to reside in the Teen Challenge program. In letters submitted to the court, officials described him as one of the best and brightest residents.
"Mr. Amon has made great efforts to turn his life around," Greenberg said.
Now, the question is whether he will continue to reform himself in Canada.
Rolston said his client came with his family from Sudan at the age of 14 and had a difficult time adjusting to the new language and culture.
Amon was befriended by other African teens who were entrenched in a criminal lifestyle and drew him into their world, court was told.
In 2005, he was arrested on an assault charge and landed at Headingley jail. That's when the gruesome attack occurred.
Amon and a co-accused, Yassim Ibrahim, attacked the victim and stabbed him in the eye with a homemade weapon. Ibrahim, the alleged 'godfather' of the Mad Cowz street gang, was the instigator, court was told.
The victim suffered permanent injuries but refused to co-operate with authorities. However, the attack was recorded on video surveillance.
Ibrahim was never punished for his role. He was deported last year after racking up a lengthy criminal record since coming to Canada from Somalia in 1999. Ibrahim told the Free Press he once dreamed of becoming a doctor.
"But I became a street hustler, selling crack," he said.
He denied recruiting young African immigrants into the gang lifestyle.
Mike McIntyre grew up wanting to be a professional wrestler. But when that dream fizzled, he put all his brawn into becoming a professional writer.