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Stabbing victim's mom criticizes Crown

Andrew Raven
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (July 27/05) - Grant Pidborochynski spent nearly four days on life support last month, while doctors worked to repair his lacerated pancreas, torn stomach lining and two severed arteries.

Emergency room physicians told his mother the 19-year-old would probably not survive the injuries - the product of a single stab wound to the abdomen.

"They told me to make arrangements because this was very serious," France Bernier said yesterday afternoon, standing outside the Yellowknife Courthouse.

"He was coding blue. They gave him blood transfusions. They were not even sure he would make it to Edmonton."

Doctors carved a half-metre track along his chest and were eventually able to stem the internal bleeding and repair his lacerated organs.

While Pidborochynski is slowly recovering from the stabbing - which happened in the Kam Lake industrial area June 19 - his family criticized the way Crown lawyers have handled the case.

The man arrested in connection with the incident, well-known local dog musher Sam Perrino, was originally charged with attempted murder.

That charge was reduced to aggravated assault five days later.

Crown attorney Loretta Colton said her office reviewed the evidence and decided there was no "reasonable prospect" of conviction on the attempted murder charge.

Bernier said her family has had little contact with the Crown and they have been left completely in the dark.

"The other side will be well represented," Bernier said Tuesday morning outside of the Yellowknife Courthouse. "Who will represent my son?"

Colton said Crown officials have met once with the family and their doors were always open. "They are welcome to contact our office anytime," she said.

Pidborochynski and other family members spent two-and-a-half hours at the Yellowknife Courthouse Tuesday morning, where the Perrino case was scheduled to be heard.

They were denied access to the courtroom under a new overcrowding policy and missed the brief hearing. They only discovered around 12:00 p.m. the case had been adjourned until late October.

"This is unbelievable," Bernier said. "We all have jobs. We take time out of our day and nobody bothers to tell us anything."

While the case meanders through the legal system, Bernier said Pidborochynski is living at home. His recovery has been steady and doctors are hopeful there will be no long-term complications from the lacerated pancreas.

"He is lucky to be alive," Bernier said.

Pidborochynski was stabbed June 19 near Taltheilei Drive in the Kam Lake subdivision.

A group of friends was trashing a broken-down vehicle that belonged to one of the teens.

Perrino called police to report the incident and an altercation ensued, which ended with Pidborochynski being rushed to hospital.