Victim ‘lucky’ to be alive
Paris man sentenced to penitentiary in stabbing
A thief who almost killed a man who unexpectedly came home during a break-in is now serving the rest of a 3 1/2-year sentence in the penitentiary.
Christopher Laframboise, 38, pleaded guilty in June in Superior Court to being unlawfully in a dwelling house and to aggravated assault after he stabbed a man in the neck with a pair of scissors. He had originally been charged with attempted murder.
But assistant Crown attorney Will Dorsey told court that the Paris man, who was also injured during the ensuing struggle, had gone to the empty apartment with no weapon and no intention of
I should have died, right there on my floor that night.” Victim
“It was a surprise to both individuals. Mr. Laframboise is not a criminal with a history of violence.”
Instead, the accused has a record of property crime, drug involvement and addiction, court was told.
And Laframboise was stabbed several times by his victim, who wielded a knife he was able to grab.
But the victim’s testimony of his near-death experience helped convince Justice John Harper that a penitentiary sentence was necessary.
“I should have died, right there on my floor that night,” said the man, who was 55 at the time of the attack at his West River Street apartment in Paris.
“I’ve been told the difference that saved me was one millimetre and I often think about how poor my chances were that night. I feel very fortunate and lucky to have lived when I should have died.”
The victim, who can’t be named due to a court order, credited his life to Brant OPP Sgt. Angela Ferguson who, he said, “held my bleeding neck in her hands and literally kept me together until help could arrive.
“If not for her intervention I would be dead.”
The victim was rushed to Brantford General Hospital, stabilized and moved on to a Hamilton hospital. Although fully recovered, he still has a burning sensation at times in his neck and, each morning, he sees the scar as he shaves.
A plea deal struck between the Crown’s office and Laframboise’s lawyer, Christina Anik Morrow, took into account the accused’s largely non-violent record and a restrictive bail period of two years, during which he was not to leave his house except under rigid conditions.
“This strict bail has put considerable hardship on his family and perhaps neighbours, due to the high frequency of bail checks (by police) at all hours,” said Morrow.
As well, the lawyer said Laframboise, who wears a leg brace for an old injury that has contributed to his addiction issues, was denied his brace during his initial detention. He slipped and fell in jail and injured his hand, requiring follow-up consultations with a plastic surgeon.
“He was not unscathed from the incident either. He suffered stab wounds and said this was a traumatic event for him as well.”
Since being on bail, Laframboise has pursued extensive rehabilitation programs and continued to work on dealing with his addictions.
He offered “profound apologies” for the incident and said he would accept the court’s judgment.
“The fear (the victim) described will forever be in his life,” said the judge. “That’s a description of how serious your conduct was.”
The judge noted that Laframboise’s addictions, injuries and lack of intention helped mitigate his sentence but none of those factors were an excuse for what happened.
“But in your statement you said you recognize there was no excuse. You went into the home with the intention of taking things you were not entitled to take.”
The lawyers each noted there would have been several legal difficulties in proceeding with a trial, which had previously been scheduled.
Harper gave Laframboise credit for 195 days of pre-trial custody and another 411 days of credit for his strict house arrest while on bail. That leaves him serving two years, three months and five days of time.
The judge ordered that Laframboise should be allowed to have his leg brace “in a safe and secure manner.”
Laframboise was ordered not to own or use weapons for the rest of his life.