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Abbotsford man sentenced for assaulting bus driver

An Abbotsford man has been sentenced in Abbotsford provincial court for assaulting a bus driver last June.  - File photo
An Abbotsford man has been sentenced in Abbotsford provincial court for assaulting a bus driver last June.
— image credit: File photo

An Abbotsford man who punched a bus driver three times in the head during an assault last June has shown no remorse and is at high risk for another violent offence, a Crown lawyer said during the man's sentencing hearing on Thursday.

Lawyer Simon Thomson, speaking in Abbotsford provincial court, submitted details from a pre-sentence report and a psychological assessment of Landy Pierre Falk, 27.

Falk previously pleaded guilty to the assault of bus driver Dallas Warner on June 25, 2013. The attack resulted in Warner suffering hearing loss in his right ear, ringing in his head, and psychological and emotional damage that has left him unable to return to work, Thomson said.

"It's had a profound impact on him and his life and his family," he said.

The court previously heard that earlier on the day of the assault, Warner had an encounter on his bus with Falk in which Falk was verbally abusive.

Warner recognized Falk later on when Falk and his pregnant girlfriend boarded his bus in the 2700 block of Bourquin Crescent West.

When Warner asked Falk to leave the bus because of the earlier incident, Falk punched him repeatedly in the face.

Defence lawyer Philip Derksen said Falk's explanation for the attack was that Warner referred to him as "the black man."

Both Thomson and Derksen agreed that Falk has problems with "anger management and impulse control," but Derksen said his client has taken programs to address those issues while in custody.

He has been in a pre-trial centre since January after being arrested on a series of charges, including the assault of his then-girlfriend, for which he also pleaded guilty.

Thomson said Falk has shown no remorse for the attack on Warner, lacks insight into his issues, minimizes his behaviour and struggles with substance abuse.

He said Falk does not regularly take his medication to control his bipolar disorder, has no respect for authority and has admitted to previous involvement with gangs such as the Hells Angels and the UN Gang.

Derksen said his client's biological father in Haiti was also an "angry man." Falk was adopted at age six by an Abbotsford family and was brought up in a good home, but he was bullied as he grew up because of his small size and a learning disability, Derksen said.

He described Falk as someone who meets the definition for "mental retardation."

In addition to the assault on his girlfriend and on Warner, Falk pleaded guilty to uttering threats for threatening to kill his girlfriend and her family.

Thomson recommended a jail term of six to nine months for the three charges, while Derksen suggested the sentence should be time already served.

Both recommended probation of 18 to 24 months, as well as counselling and an order for Falk to comply with mental-health treatment, including medication recommendations.

Judge Rose Raven sentenced Falk to eight months in prison followed by two years' probation. With six months' credit for time served, he has two months left to serve.

Meanwhile, charges have not yet been laid against Falk for a scuffle with a sheriff that occurred during the first part of his sentencing hearing on April 3.

The incident took place when Falk was being removed from the courtroom to be taken back to a holding cell. Falk was pinned down during the tussle, but continued to struggle and punched a sheriff repeatedly in the head.

 

 

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