Thursday, October 28, 2010

Where Is the Justice?

    In October 2004, a 49 year old Hamilton labourer, I'll call him "M", walked out of his apartment at about 10:00 p.m. to go buy some liquor from a bootlegger. That was the last time he walked anywhere. Just shortly after arriving at the bootleggers residence, M was attacked from behind by an 18 year old woman who had already drank 2 bottles of wine. The blow to M's back was hard enough to shatter several vertabra in his spine. He was then thrown over the railing of the front porch and fell 3 feet to the ground. If that weren't enough, the assailant proceeded to kick M in the chest a couple of times saying "If he thinks he's hurt now, he'll really feel these". The motive for the attack was to rob M so the woman and a friend with her could by more wine from the bootlegger. M was left a quadriplegic.

    For the next 5 years, M went from the Hamilton General Hospital where he had his surgery to Chedoke's Holbrook Center where he received therapy and counseling for 2 years and finally to the long term facility at Hamilton's St. Josephs Hospital. Due to the severity of his injuries, M battled an array of medical problems daily. He had to be fed through a tube which ran to his stomach. He had a tube running from his bladder to a bag which required constant monitoring so it wouldn't plug up or overfill. He constantly had trouble breathing and needed oxygen masks to help him. There were bouts of depression when all he wanted to do was die. M would finally get his wish.

     On October 10th 2009, M succumbed to pneumonia brought on by his bodys inability to fight infections caused by the vicious assault 5 years earlier. This happened just 2 weeks after his mother passed away as the result of a massive stroke. The woman responsible for the attack was finally arrested and charged in May 2009 and was sentenced on October 22nd 2010. Her sentence...... 2 years probation, 6 months of that was house arrest with the right to leave for certain functions, Dr. visits and so on. Followed by 6 months of curfew (5 p.m. to 6 a.m.), no alcohol or prohibited drugs for 2 years (the judges words), and a lifetime ban on owning any weapons.

    This woman was responsible for paralyzing a man with 4 daughters and several grandchildren. His one daughter was pregnant at the time of his death. His grandchildren will never really know him because of the actions of a thoughtless uncaring drunk whose only motive was to get more alcohol. He's dead and she gets nothing more than a slap on the wrist. When the judge asked her if she had anything to say to the family, she nonchalantly replied "I'm sorry but I just don't remember".

    She may not remember but M's family and friends will never forget.


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