In what is a small comfort for the families and victims of Thomas Kruger-Allen’s beach attack, the 23-year old will serve further time in jail.
Kruger-Allen will spend five years less two years and 68 days for time already served. In the end, he will serve two years and 297 days.
In June of last year, Kruger-Allen pleaded guilty to aggravated assault of Brad Eliason for the May 3, 2019 beach attack. He also pled guilty to assaulting two other people that night on the beach, for which he will serve one day each concurrently with the aggravated assault sentence. The charge against Kruger-Allen for sexual assault was stayed.
“Kruger-Allen, you have difficult work ahead of you,” said presiding Supreme Court Justice Geoffrey Gomery. “Despite the grim conditions you endured growing up, you are responsible for your actions and their consequences. Your challenge is to rise above your anger and sadness, and be the good person you have the potential to be.”
Eliason, 29, was put into an induced coma for several days and a portion of his skull needed to be removed due to brain swelling.
“I’ve lost everything,” Eliason told the courtroom. “I’ve lost my wife, my home, my job.”
When the attacks occurred, Kruger-Allen was out on a bail for an unrelated, unprovoked attack outside the then Mule Club. He also is going to trial in May, charged in a home invasion he allegedly committed while out on bail from the beach attacks.
While he was in custody following the beach attack, he also committed several institutional convictions, including possessing contraband, assaulting another inmate, threatening or abusing staff, disobeying staff direction and obstructing an officer.
“Until he is able to address his anger and substance abuse, Mister Kruger-Allen is a danger to public safety,” said Justice Gomery. “Putting him in prison for a lengthy period of time is a band-aid.”
Kruger-Allen had been scheduled to be sentenced on Wednesday, March 3, but his defence, James Pennington, introduced an application that his Charter Rights had been breached during the arrest.
The defence argued that RCMP did not have a warrant to enter Kruger-Allen’s residence and that even if the circumstances did not add up to a full breach, that it could be taken into consideration as a mitigating factor for his sentence.
Crown argued that officers did not intend to enter the residence, but had done so after Kruger-Allen refused to exit after being told why he was under arrest.
Justice Gomery found that the potential breach was not enough to affect his sentencing.
Crown counsel had asked for a sentence between five to six years before time served was taken into account.
Mitigating circumstances considered by the Justice included his age, his willingness to work with counsellors to address his anger and substance abuse problems, the support available to him from his mother and other family members and his work history.
Kruger-Allen’s genuine remorse and his Indigenous heritage were also cited by the Justice. His upbringing, and background, are closely connected to the issues that contributed to the May 3 assault.
However, Justice Gomery noted that there many aggravating factors as well in the case when it came to sentencing.
“In my view, Mister Kruger-Allen’s criminal record, in particular, his previous conviction for assault, which occurred on August 12, 2017. This should have served as a wake-up call for Mister Kruger-Allen, an opportunity to reflect on the consequences of his actions and change his behaviour,” said Justice Gomery.
Kruger-Allen’s decision to have been drinking before the assault, the unprovoked nature of all three assaults, and the great force he applied to Eliason were also considered aggravating factors.
The Supreme Court Justice also stated that he had found the recommendations in the court-prepared psychiatric report persuasive, which included requirements for Kruger-Allen to undergo further programs to manage substance abuse and anger.
That report stated that Kruger-Allen posed a serious safety concern to the community.
A trial later this summer will be held for Kruger-Allen for the charges related to the home invasion that occurred in October 2019 while he was out on bail.
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