In a trembling voice, a mother described in a Red Deer courtroom on Tuesday the emotional ordeal of sitting next to her son in hospital as he recovered from the stab wound that came close to taking his life.
“There are no words as a mother to describe how it feels to sit beside your son in the hospital wondering what his fate would be,” said Barbara MacGillivray.
She consoled herself by remembering happier days when her 18-year-old son Steven was just a tyke of three or four.
“This crime has affected my whole family,” she said while reading her victim impact statement in Red Deer provincial court at the sentencing hearing for Leslie Cook, 19, of Springbrook.
Cook was sentenced to 18 months in jail after pleading guilty to stabbing MacGillivray in the chest in an early-morning brawl outside a Dunning Close home on Aug. 9, 2008.
He plead guilty to aggravated assault and failing to comply with court orders.
The incident was a carry-over from an earlier altercation in which MacGillivray’s brother had been punched. The brothers along with some friends went to Deer Park to confront Cook.
Crown prosecutor Robin Fiander said Cook came out of the house and stabbed Steven in the right side of the chest, puncturing a lung and narrowly missing his heart. He was taken to hospital in Red Deer and then transferred to Calgary.
He ended up missing three weeks of work because of his injuries.
Cook apologized to the victim and his family from the dock. Cook said he knows they can not forgive him but hopes some day they can put this in the past.
“I apologize and I’m sorry.”
Provincial court Judge Jim Mitchell had harsh words for Cook, who has a long criminal record mostly involving breaching probations and other court orders.
“But to good fortune and dumb luck, you’re not facing a murder charge.”
Cook is part of a youth culture that is saturated in violence, from its music and television shows to movies and videos, said Mitchell.
“They’re just dripping in violence, gratuitous, cheap violence. It’s small wonder you’re quick to arm yourself with a knife. That’s the world you’re immersed in.”
As part of a joint submission from the Crown and defence, Cook was given two-for-one credit for his nine months and five days in jail and his 18-month sentence was considered served.
He was ordered to provide a DNA sample, given a 10-year weapons prohibition and will face a year of probation, including a ban on alcohol. He must also pay $2,075 restitution for MacGillivray’s lost wages and ambulance bill.
Cook was sentenced to an additional 44 days on unrelated charges dating to Aug. 25, 2008. He earlier pleaded guilty to stealing a Texas mickey of vodka from a Penhold liquor store.
He was recorded on a surveillance camera, which also showed that he drove up and left at the wheel on a vehicle despite having a suspended licence. He had earlier pleaded guilty to breaching probation, driving while disqualified and theft under $5,000.