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Final person convicted in beating receives two years

The final person to be convicted of a brutal beating and robbery in Lacombe was also given the harshest sentence­ — two years of federal time with no credit for time served in pre-trial custody.

Lacombe resident Travis James Kastrukoff, now 24, was one of five people arrested after a 19-year-old Lacombe man was attacked, kicked and robbed on July 17, 2010.

They got $20, a cellphone and possibly a hat, said Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Kirk Sisson, who pronounced sentence on Monday afternoon.

A jury found Kastrukoff guilty for his part in the assault and robbery during a trial in Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench in December 2011.

However, sentencing was adjourned pending results from a series of reports, including a pre-sentence report, a psychiatric assessment and an additional report that considers Kastrukoff’s aboriginal heritage.

Evidence placed before the jury included a video taken by an uninvolved witness, in which Kastrukoff was photographed walking up to the man and kicking him in the head.

Sisson said it was “crystal clear” to him that it was “just dumb luck” that the victim did not suffer any serious or long-term injuries in the attack.

Crown prosecutor Maurice Collard said the attack went far beyond a street-level mugging.

“This was a violent, brutal attack,” he said while presenting a joint submission worked out with defence lawyer Alain Hepner of Calgary, hired to assist Kastrukoff through the sentencing process. Red Deer lawyer Walter Kubanek had represented him for the trial.

Kastrukoff was the only one of the five people charged whose case went through to trial.

Andrew Dennis Renaud, 19 at the time of the attack, pleaded guilty fairly early in proceedings and was sentenced to 17 months.

Renaud’s sentence was mitigated somewhat because he interfered in the attack, stopping co-accused Brian Travis Ward from stomping on their victim, said Collard.

Ward, 21 at the time, changed his plea to guilty after a preliminary hearing and was sentenced to two years less one day, meaning he would serve his time in a provincial corrections centre.

Carl Wesley Johnson, who was 19, pleaded guilty to robbery and was sentenced to 18 months.

Sentencing of the fifth person, a teenaged girl, was not included in Monday’s submissions.

Her name was withheld because she was a minor at the time of the attack.

Hepner said his client, a respectful man, a hard worker and the father of two small children, is seeking treatment for anger management.

“I would say, sadly, he fell through the cracks of the legal system. He stayed out of trouble for the majority of his life. He fell into a peer group that has been nothing but detrimental to him in terms of the justice system,” said Hepner.

Sisson accepted the sentence recommendation, including ordering that Kastrukoff provide a sample of his DNA and prohibiting him from owning firearms for a period of 10 years upon his release from prison.

Kastrukoff was also ordered to pay a victim of crime surcharge, due within 90 days of his release from prison. The amount of the surcharge was not specified in court on Monday.

bkossowan@reddeeradvocate.com

 
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