An exchange of words turned into a physical confrontation that ended up with one man in hospital and another man in court for attempted murder.
The man in court was Rudy Kendal Solomon, 49, who was sentenced last week to three and a half years imprisonment after the Crown accepted his guilty plea to wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.
The incident that led to the charges occurred in East End on Jan. 14, 2014 when Solomon was walking past a group of individuals standing outside a residence.
It was not clear who spoke first, but words were exchanged between Solomon and one of the men. Solomon then walked toward the complainant. The man believed that Solomon was going to assault him, so he picked up a rock and hurled it at him. Solomon continued his approach and when he came close enough, the complainant kicked him.
The complainant then felt a sharp pain in his chest; realizing he had been injured, he ran. Solomon chased him and stabbed him repeatedly and indiscriminately. The attack stopped only when Solomon was told that the complainant was dead. He then left the scene.
Justice Michael Mettyear observed that the wounds as described in the medical report did not appear to be very deep or cause long-lasting injuries. They had been inflicted with what he referred to as a craft knife, which did not have a very deep blade. Some of the wounds were described as lacerations, the longest of which was 12 centimeters (about 4.7 inches).
The complainant also sustained a broken leg.
The basis of Solomon’s plea was that the man injured his leg on objects that were in the area where he ran.
Justice Mettyear pointed out that Solomon had caused the leg injury indirectly.
Defense attorney Laurance Aiolfi emphasized that the incident was entirely spontaneous: there was no planned attack. After the first rock was thrown, Solomon believed the other man would pick up another rock or some other object. He accepted that what had begun as self-defense went beyond what was reasonably necessary when Solomon lost control of himself.
Mr. Aiolfi said Solomon had the knife for his craft work, “which was very much the focus of his whole life.” He said Solomon accepted that if he didn’t have the knife things would not have escalated as they did.
The attorney noted that Solomon had a serious history of being bullied and victimized.
His charges had been before the court for some time because Solomon was on a course of treatment for a mental disorder. This condition had settled down after a period of prescribed medication and abstinence from drugs and alcohol.
Mr. Aiolfi had asked the court for a Goodyear direction – that is, an indication of what the maximum sentence would be if the defendant pleaded guilty.
Justice Mettyear had said his maximum would be four years.
Mr. Aiolfi then spoke in mitigation, pointing out that Solomon had not had any conviction for violence in over 20 years. The defendant had also said he was sorry for what had happened.
Justice Mettyear reminded Solomon that he had not ceased his attack even when other people at the scene tried to stop him. The judge indicated that he accepted the expression of sorrow.
He adjusted the four year sentence to three and a half years.