Eight years for unprovoked knife attack

Incident ‘changed my life,’ victim says

Mark Anthony Seymour, 31, was sentenced last week to eight years’ imprisonment after a jury unanimously found him guilty of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

The bodily harm, a punctured lung, changed the life of Seymour’s victim.

“I used to play football, but now I don’t play, as I’m afraid of any breathing difficulties,” the young man said in a victim impact report. He was 18 when he was stabbed on Nov. 21, 2015 in the vicinity of Nectar Lounge in the Seven Mile Shops complex off West Bay Road.

Justice Charles Quin called it “a serious unprovoked knife attack that caused serious injury which could easily have been fatal.”

The young man said he was scared that he was going to die.

“I didn’t initially realize my lung had been punctured when he stabbed me, but then it began to collapse,” he said. “I had difficulty breathing. It was hard to breathe and I thought I would die.”

He spoke of his treatment in hospital, which saved his life, and the excruciating pain from having a tube inserted into his lung. Four months later, he still could not do any strenuous activity at work or at home.

“This incident has changed my life, since I can no longer do many of the things I used to do. Before I was stabbed, I was doing an apprenticeship for electrician work. Luckily, after my weeks off sick and my recovery period, they took me back,” he stated.

However, as Justice Charles Quin read at the sentencing hearing, the victim cannot work to the same extent or same standard because he cannot physically exert himself as much. He lost pay while recovering and he has been left with a physical scar.

“But clearly his work and his ability to earn money has been seriously compromised,” the judge noted.

In passing sentence, Justice Quin reviewed recent authorities and Seymour’s record, which included numerous assaults. Given the aggravating features of this offense and the defendant’s previous convictions, he concluded that eight years was the appropriate sentence.

Seymour, also known as Mark Hilary, told the court he needed the trial transcript so he could get an appeal as quickly as possible because he had not done this crime. He also complained that the judge was dealing with him harshly because of his record.

“You could easily be going to prison for life,” Justice Quin told him. “It could easily have been murder.”

The judge gave credit for time in custody.

Later that day, Seymour attended Summary Court where he received an additional four months for charges that included driving while disqualified; disorderly conduct at a police station; and causing harassment, alarm or distress.

On May 17, he appeared in Summary Court via video link on charges of common assault and a reckless and negligent act. Seymour asked for a concurrent sentence and the magistrate agreed, saying this file should have been before the court the previous week so that totality of sentence could be considered.