NANAIMO — A man responsible for several armed robberies and the stabbing of a Good Samaritan will spend an additional two years behind bars.
Court heard Jeffrey Brian MacDonald, 32, had a disturbing and violent past during a sentencing hearing in Provincial Court in Nanaimo on Thursday.
Court heard MacDonald, originally from the Horse Lake First Nation in Alberta, has a long criminal history. He pleaded guilty to 10 offences, including robbery, aggravated assault and stealing vehicles.
MacDonald went on a month-long crime spree in Sept. 2016, where he used a knife, mask and stolen vehicles to rob a pair of Nanaimo convenience stores and one in Ladysmith.
Later that month MacDonald crashed a stolen vehicle on Hwy. 19 in Qualicum Beach. A Good Samaritan pulled over to help MacDonald, who then stabbed the man and stole his truck, leaving him “bleeding profusely” with a chest wound.
Crown prosecutor Nick Barber, who argued for six years in prison, said MacDonald is dangerous and a long prison sentence was appropriate for the nature of his crimes.
“Not only being attacked and stabbed but having his vehicle stolen when Mr. MacDonald then makes his escape, so kicking him while he’s down.”
Court heard MacDonald was “extremely intoxicated” on crystal meth during the stabbing.
The victim lost $10,000 in work wages as a result of the incident, which left him and his wife traumatized, according to Barber.
Defence attorney Babak Zargarian said his client had a childhood filled with violence, poverty, neglect, as well as drug and sexual abuse. Zargarian said MacDonald was sexually assaulted by his uncle between the ages of four and five. MacDonald was 12-years-old when his mother was murdered in Alberta for a drug debt.
Zargarian noted MacDonald took counseling for his addictions in jail and has learned restraint, empathy and self-control during 20 visits with a psychologist.
MacDonald addressed the court, stating his life will only succeed with a life of complete sobriety. He said his violent behaviour was fueled by his drug addictions.
“It hurts just thinking about the pain I’ve caused people and I’m sincerely sorry from the bottom of my heart,” MacDonald said.
His sentence was four years in prison, but credit for time served shortens his punishment to an two additional years.
MacDonald was also given 3-years probation, which includes living with his parents in Maple Ridge following his jail sentence and not using drugs or alcohol.
Judge Douglas Cowling said a factor in his ruling was to keep MacDonald out of the federal penitentiary system and have him enrolled at the provincial Nanaimo Correctional Centre.
He said the prison in Nanaimo, home of the renowned Guthrie House addictions program, would be a good fit for MacDonald.
“It’s too early to give up on Mr. MacDonald,” Cowling said.
Read more at Nanaimo News Now