Vic­tim ‘lucky’ to be alive

Paris man sen­tenced to pen­i­ten­tiary in stab­bing

The Expositor (Brantford) - - FRONT PAGE - SU­SAN GAM­BLE EXPOSITOR STAFF

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

hurt­ing any­one.

“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.

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