Crown seeking up to three years for downtown CTrain station attack on complete stranger

Entrance to the Calgary Courts Centre.

The perpetrator of a vicious attack on a total stranger at an LRT station could end up murdering someone, his own mother fears.

Crown prosecutor Samina Dhalla, in seeking up to a three-year sentence for David Joseph Paquette’s unexplained attack on Gerald Baptiste, told Judge Greg Stirling the city man’s risk to reoffend remains high.

“Denunciation, deterrence and protection of the public are paramount,” Dhalla told the provincial court judge.

“This is an accused who is a risk to society.”

The prosecutor pointed to a pre-sentence report in which Paquette’s mother was asked about his violent tendencies when drinking.

“His own mother indicated … ‘he’s going to kill somebody if he doesn’t get help.’”

Paquette, 29, earlier pleaded guilty to aggravated assault in connection with the July 26, 2019, attack on Baptiste.

Surveillance video showed Paquette shoving Baptiste off the 1 St. S.W. station platform before two other men helped him get back up.

A short time later, while the four men continued to walk on the platform, Paquette shouldered his victim into some scaffolding, knocked him to the ground and then stomped on his head, knocking him out.

Paquette also pleaded guilty to domestic-related charges in which he choked his then-girlfriend to the point she couldn’t breathe during a Feb. 26, 2019, incident.

The woman was so traumatized she was shaking violently as she attended the sentencing hearing briefly to read in a victim impact statement.

Dhalla said Stirling should sentence Paquette to an extra six months for those offences, which included assault causing bodily harm and uttering threats.

But defence lawyer Shaun Leochko said his client has spent enough time behind bars.

Leochko said the nearly 13 months Paquette has already served, which would equate to a 19 1/2 month sentence, followed by probation would be punishment enough.

The lawyer said Paquette had a difficult upbringing which led to serious substance abuse.

A date for Stirling’s decision will be set next week.

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