A federal inmate with 16 previous assault convictions, including 11 serious incidents, will spend another term in jail.
Joseph Alexander Mason, 46, was sentenced to five and a half years in jail on Monday for the Nov. 14, 2008, stabbing of another inmate at Bowden Institution.
Mason pleaded guilty early last month to aggravated assault after he changed his plea on an attempted murder charge.
The attempted murder charge was dropped by Crown prosecutor Murray McPherson in exchange for the guilty plea.
McPherson sought a sentence of five to eight years while defence lawyer Patty MacNaughton argued for a term of four or five years.
Judge David Plosz said Mason has spent the better part of his adult life in jail following a violent upbringing bouncing around from one foster home to another and suffering abuse at some.
The judge said Mason expressed remorse immediately following the attack and his guilty plea was a form of remorse as well.
Mason was due to be released last June after serving a 10-year sentence for attempted murder, aggravated assault and assault causing bodily harm. He also had four previous aggravated assault convictions and five others involving weapons.
The judge actually thanked Mason for a letter the inmate wrote to the court detailing the “harsh realities of prison life.”
“It was a well-written and poignant letter,” Plosz said.
“I thank you for that sir,” Plosz told Mason.
Mason stabbed the other inmate with a sharpened metal spoon after the victim challenged him to a fight.
Mason had the weapon hidden and stabbed the 48-year-old victim six or seven times in the abdomen, chest and back.
Mason was about to stab the victim again in the chest when Canada Corrections officers intervened.
The victim was taken to hospital in stable condition but returned after a time to the prison population.
After the attack, the prison was locked down and officials did a top-to-bottom search for contraband materials.
Following a meeting with union officials and prison authorities, metal utensils were removed from the prison kitchen immediately and plans were announced to store cans of pepper spray in prison units so guards can respond to violent incidents more effectively.