Man jailed 12 years for kidnapping, cutting off thumb

Victim abducted, tortured and left in snow

EDMONTON — An Edmonton man who cut off his victim’s thumb after abducting him has been sentenced to 12 years in prison.

Steven Vollrath was found guilty in June of kidnapping, aggravating assault, possession of a weapon and impersonating a police officer.

His victim, Richard Suter, was taken from his home in January 2015 by three masked men who tortured him and left him in the snow.

Suter was awaiting trial at the time for crashing his SUV into a restaurant patio and killing a two-year-old toddler.

Geo Mounsef, who was having dinner with his parents and baby brother, was pinned against a wall and died.

During Vollrath’s sentencing hearing, the Crown pointed to his lengthy criminal record, while the defence argued his was a case of mistaken identity.

The prosecution also suggested the attack could have been a vigilante act, but Vollrath’s lawyer said there was no evidence to suggest that.

Suter, a retired businessman, was found guilty of failing to provide a breath sample when there is a death and sentenced to four months in jail. The Alberta Court of Appeal increased the sentence to 26 months.

He has applied to the Supreme Court of Canada to have the original sentence restored.

During Suter’s trial, court heard that he had been arguing with his wife while he was parking and mistakenly hit the gas instead of the brake. He testified that he had three drinks over four hours before the crash, but wasn’t drunk.

The sentencing judge agreed that Suter wasn’t impaired and was given bad legal advice to refuse a breathalyzer test.

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