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Monday, 23 January 2012

A young member of the Native Syndicate street gang will spend the next eight months behind bars after beating a stranger unconscious with a fence post


A young member of the Native Syndicate street gang will spend the next eight months behind bars after beating a stranger unconscious with a fence post in an apparently unmotivated attack. The youth, 14, was handed a sentence of 18 months of secure custody and supervision under the Youth Criminal Justice Act last week after admitting responsibility for an unprovoked summertime attack at a children’s park near Spence Street and Cumberland Avenue. Judge Heather Pullan credited the teen with six months of time already served, meaning he has eight months of jail left to be followed by a period of community supervision and probation. Details of the July 8, 2011 attack were described in court by the Crown as “gratuitous violence against complete strangers.” Prosecutor Sheila Seesahai said the boy approached a group of youths drinking in the park and started attacking them after striking up a short conversation over a “gang scarf.” While two youths managed to escape relatively uninjured, the teen pounced on a 15-year-old boy, knocked him down and repeatedly hit him in the head with the fence picket. “He hit the victim so hard that it shattered … the police just find pieces of it,” Seesahai said. Someone called 911 to report a “bludgeoning,” and officers arrived to find the victim passed out and bleeding from the face, court heard. His attacker was arrested not far from the scene. The youth was granted two shots at bail after his arrest but breached each time, Seesahai said. Since being in custody, he’s had to be transferred to a maximum-security youth lockup twice because of his behaviour, Pullan was told. The teen suffers from impulse issues and has had negative family influences, his lawyer told court. The youth said he “kind of felt bad for the people that I hurt.” “I’m sick and tired of the cockamamie in and out of this place,” he said. Pullan said she recognized the teen came from difficult circumstances, but it didn’t excuse his actions. “It’s not all about you,” said Pullan. “In the end, it’s about protection of the public.”



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