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Brawling brother gets two years in jail
Accused used a kitchen knife with 10-inch blade to slash brother's face, arms and hands

Miranda Scotland
Northern News Services
Published Wednesday, May 1, 2013660

A man who slashed his brother's face, arms and hands with a kitchen knife was handed a two-year jail sentence after pleading guilty to assaulting him in territorial court April 24.

The 43 year old, who will not be named to protect the victim's identity, got into a brawl with his older brother after an evening of drinking at the assailant's residence. During the argument the man punched his brother in the face who then returned the favour. After that the fight escalated, with the accused pulling a kitchen knife with a 10-inch blade on his brother and slashing him.

The brother fled the property and went to another house where they called the police. Once he identified his attacker the victim was taken to Stanton Territorial Hospital for treatment.

The brother has scars under his eye and across the bridge of his nose from the incident. He is also scared to be around the assailant and to answer his door for fear it will be his younger brother calling.

On the evening of the fight, the assailant was found at his house dressed in underwear and socks with blood all around him. Police also found a kitchen knife with blood on it at the scene.

The accused was taken to the police station and later transported to the hospital after he told the guard he was having trouble breathing. Doctors treated him for two cracked ribs.

The man was initially charged with aggravated assault, which carries a maximum penalty of 14 years, but it was later changed to the lesser charge of assault causing bodily harm.

Crown prosecutor Danielle Vaillancourt argued the assailant should get 18 to 24 months in jail followed by a lengthy period of probation. She also requested a DNA order and a firearm prohibition.

Vaillancourt noted the effect the attack has had on the man's brother and also pointed to the accused's criminal record, which lists 19 convictions, including seven for violence. In 2006, the man was given 16 months in jail for assaulting his spouse and fracturing her jaw, the prosecutor said.

Growing up, the accused had a difficult childhood and remembers hiding with his siblings when his parents came home intoxicated, explained defence lawyer Niko Homberg.

He grew up in an environment with alcohol abuse and domestic violence. Now he himself struggles with addiction.

Homberg suggested a jail term of 18 months and two years probation was appropriate in this case.

The attacker said he regrets what he did to his brother and wishes he could apologize to him.

"I do love him and I'm sorry for what I did to him," he told the court, adding he would like to get treatment for his alcohol addiction once he gets out of jail.

Judge Garth Malakoe handed down a sentence of two years in prison less a day, two years probation and a 10-year firearms prohibition.

The conditions under the probation order stipulate that the assailant must receive counselling as directed by his probation officer, that he have no contact with his brother, that he abstain from alcohol for the first 12 months and that he not carry a knife.

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