1-day jail sentence given to BC man who was ‘homeless, hungry and addicted to drugs’ when he stabbed 2 people in 16 minutes


A man who stabbed two people in the span of 16 minutes for unknown reasons was “anxious, homeless, hungry and addicted to drugs at the time,” a BC judge said, announcing a one-day sentence for attempted murder.

Dominic Nathan Scott Auckland was sentenced last week after pleading guilty to aggravated assault and attempted murder in connection with two incidents in 2019.

Because his case didn’t go to trial, some of the details revealed in his sentencing were heard for the first time by those not involved in the series of events on April 29 of that year.

During his sentencing hearing, the court heard that Auckland’s short crime spree began at 4:06 pm


THE AGGRAVATED ASSAULT


As described by Judge Reginald Harriswho viewed surveillance camera video of the incident, Auckland walked by a parking lot on East Hastings Street at that time, and appeared to have noticed a man rummaging through items on the ground.

“Mr. Auckland walked by, doubled back, and removed a knife from his right pocket,” Harris wrote in his reasons for the sentence he imposed.

“Mr. Auckland then lunged forward and attacked (Lucas) Bishop from behind. Mr. Bishop received three stab wounds: one to the right shoulder, one adjacent to his spine, and one to his flank near his kidney.”

The victim was taken to hospital where he was diagnosed with a partially collapsed lung. He also needed staples to close his wounds from him.

Harris said the victim did not co-operate with police, and discharged himself from hospital against the advice of health-care professionals.

The incident with Bishop resulted in a charge of aggravated assault.


THE ATTEMPTED MURDER

Based on evidence in the case, Auckland struck again a short time later.

Only 16 minutes after Bishop was stabbed, Auckland entered Andy Livingstone Park, approached a man from behind as he sat on a bench, and stabbed that person as well.

Harris said Auckland stabbed the second victim, Lemma Bartholomeos, “multiple times in the neck and shoulders.”

The victim screamed and witnesses called 911. Police found the man lying “in a large pool of blood and with a long gash on his throat.”

Paramedics called to the park reported significant blood loss, as well as four stab wounds, the worst of which was 12 centimeters long.

The cuts were deep; Bartholomeos required surgery to his external jugular, esophagus and trachea. There were also mental health impacts, and his injuries meant even after surgery he had difficulty speaking and eating.

This attack led to a charge of attempted murder.

Auckland left the scene before police arrived, but he’d cut himself in the attack, Harris said, and went to hospital to get treatment for his finger.

It was there that he was approached by police, who arrested and interviewed him, getting Auckland to admit to the stabbing of Bartholomeos and to “allude” to the attack on Bishop.

At the time, officers announced only that they’d arrested a man in his 20s in connection with the park stabbing, and that the victim was 54 years old.


THE BACKGROUND

According to police, Auckland told them he’d been drinking before the attacks and smoking meth in the weeks leading up to them.

Harris also outlined some of Auckland’s personal circumstances, including that he is just 22 years old.

His grandparents raised him for some time, and they are survivors of Canada’s residential school system. Auckland also lived in foster homes, group homes, with other family members and on the street at times. “While a youngster,” Harris wrote, Auckland saw alcohol and drug use as well as verbal aggression, violence and neglect.

“Not surprisingly, and sadly, his chaotic upbringing resulted in sporadic supervision and little support,” Harris said.

All three of his siblings struggled with substance use, the judge said, and Auckland himself started drinking and using cannabis at the age of 13. He escalated to ketamine within two years, and was using drugs including crystal methamphetamine, LSD and cocaine by age 17 or 18.

He tried to stop, even attending a treatment center as a teenager, and living in recovery houses after that, but he had “limited success,” Harris said.

Since his arrest and release from custody in September 2020, he’s made progress while living in another residential treatment home, and his counselor told the court, “Given the chance and continued guidance, he will continue to improve and be a productive member of society. “

The judge took Auckland’s counsellor’s words into consideration when determining an appropriate sentence, and noted that while there is a criminal record, “it is important to acknowledge the link between his record and his Indigenous heritage.”

“Specifically, the disadvantaged Mr. Auckland suffered because of his heritage has contributed to his criminality.”

His record includes a conviction for assault causing bodily harm when he was a minor, the judge said. As an adult, he’s also been convicted of theft, breach of probation and assault with a weapon.

He was on probation when the April 2019 stabbings occurred.


THE SENTENCE

What the judge settled on, in the end, was a sentence of just one day for the attempted murder, noting credit for 42 months served in pre-sentence custody and on restrictive bail conditions that included a curfew and electronic monitoring.

He said the sentence amounts to three years, six months’ incarceration.

For the aggravated assault, Harris sentenced Auckland to two years, less a day, followed by two years’ probation. That two years less a day will be served in the community on conditions including good behaviour, a curfew, a weapons ban and a prohibition on possession of alcohol and non-prescribed drugs.

He’ll also have to participate in some type of counseling or other psychiatric care program.

No victim surcharge was imposed, as the judge noted Harris has been unemployed for years and needs to focus on his rehabilitation, but Auckland is prohibited from possessing certain weapons for life.

He was also ordered to submit a sample of his DNA.


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