With a starting point of three years, Justice Alex Henderson last week determined that 10 months was the appropriate sentence for a woman who admitted stomping on her victim’s head.
Tashika Khouri, 21, pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm to another female, who was 16 at the time.
The judge reviewed the facts as accepted by Defence Attorney Nicholas Dixey and Crown Counsel Kirsti-Ann Gunn.
Khouri and the complainant were known to each other and had acrimonious interaction for a considerable period of time. Mrs. Gunn said harsh words were exchanged on one occasion over a boyfriend.
Things started to come to a head one night outside the Cinema where, around 11pm, the two females engaged in a physical altercation. There was no reconciliation; in fact, things got worse, the judge commented.
Two days later, Khouri received a phone call from a third party. In the background she could hear the complainant making taunting remarks about the encounter.
Then Khouri received a call of greater significance. She interpreted it as a threat of physical attack on her one-year-old daughter by the complainant. She became angry and fearful for her child’s safety.
The judge had been told that Khouri complained to the police. He said that, whether or not she did, he accepted that she had in mind police were not going to provide a satisfactory solution to the unpleasant relationship.
On the afternoon of the offence, Khouri got a friend to drive her where she knew the complainant would be walking.
As the girl walked toward the car, she was talking on the phone, saying she had beat Khouri and would beat her again, but used a rude word instead of the defendant’s name.
Khouri became enraged, got out of the car and attacked the complainant. She admitted punching her in the face, kicking her in the stomach, then kicking her in the knee, which caused the victim to fall down. Khouri, who was wearing hiking boots at the time, then kicked the complainant in the face and stomped on her head about three times.
The victim lost consciousness early during this vicious assault, the judge noted. She suffered lacerations and contusions, a fracture of her left temple and an air bubble under her skull.
She still suffers from headaches, visual problems and hearing dysfunction. ‘It can be seen, therefore, that the attack was relatively severe and quite likely life-threatening, even though no weapon was used,’ the judge said.
The aggravating features were a previous conviction for assault and the fact that Khouri planned this attack.
Mitigating features included her plea and age. Most significantly, he was bound to accept the basis of the plea, which was what amounted to substantial provocation – not in the legal sense, but in the everyday sense. The attack was pre-emptive, to protect Khouri’s child.
Taking all the circumstances into account, he was satisfied that the starting point6 for sentencing should be three years. He deducted one year for the guilty plea.
Mr. Dixey advised that Khouri had spent seven months in custody already. The judge said that would roughly equal 14 months, given the new rules for parole consideration. He therefore deducted 14 months from the 24 he would have imposed and reached 10 months.
He said time in custody would not be taken into account because he had taken it into account already.