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Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Simmons admitted to the 2007 attack which saw him burst into a city home and fire a bullet into the stomach of his victim.

Noah Simmons was just inches away from killing a man in 2007. Now he is months away from being back on the streets.
The former street-gang member was sentenced to one year in jail Monday after pleading guilty for a near-fatal home invasion. Simmons admitted to the 2007 attack which saw him burst into a city home and fire a bullet into the stomach of his victim. The man was lucky to survive the attack but has since made a full recovery, court was told.
Simmons, 30, has spent the past three years in pre-trial custody, which Crown and defence lawyers agreed should be given double-time credit of six years. That's because recent legislative changes which outlaw the controversial two-for-one practice weren't in place at the time of his arrest.
The Crown said there were major problems with their case -- including a lack of eyewitness identification and another witness who recanted her story - that could have resulted in an acquittal had Simmons gone to trial.
As a result, the Crown agreed to recommend a much more lenient sentence of seven years on paper in exchange for him taking responsibility.
"This represents a classic dilemma," said Queen's Bench Chief Justice Glenn Joyal. "It is the only real way to get some kind of accountability for a dreadful act."
Simmons admits targeting the victim because he believed the man -- a known drug dealer -- had sexually assaulted a female he knew earlier that night, court was told. Simmons was a member of the Native Syndicate street gang at the time and was on parole following a string of other violent criminal convictions.
Joyal called his actions "barbaric vigilantism" which can't be condoned by society.



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