He’s on a crusade so ‘victims aren’t victims a second time’
MONTREAL — Dannick Lessard feels victimized by the justice system.
In October 2012, the Quebec man took nine bullets outside a bar in an attempt on his life.
Earlier this year, his alleged attacker, who was already serving life for another murder, was granted a stay on the charge of attempting to murder Lessard.
The reason for the proceedings being dropped: a 2016 Supreme Court ruling that sets strict time limits on criminal cases getting to trial.
Lessard said he’d anticipated the outcome and had accepted the Quebec Superior Court decision that ended the case against Ryan Wolfson.
“He wouldn’t have been given more time, so for me I would have liked to have brought it to a close: the person who (allegedly) attacked me is in jail, I’m moving on to other things,” Lessard reasoned.
But his feelings began to change as he considered the absurdity of the outcome.
“I thought that it makes no sense that I took nine bullets and the person who (allegedly) assaulted me can get out of it so easily,” Lessard told The Canadian Press.
“Yes, I know he’s still in prison, but you can’t absorb nine bullets ... and come out of it with a stay of proceedings.”
None of the allegations in the case have been proven in court.
Lessard, who turns 39 later this month, says he has nothing against the Supreme Court ruling dealing with court delays — but he doesn’t believe it should apply to more serious, violent offences.
Now, Lessard is on a personal crusade of sorts “so that victims aren’t victims a second time.”
“When you commit a serious crime against a person, if it takes six years for the case to be heard, then it takes six years,” he said.
Lessard had finished playing in a semi-pro hockey game for the nowdefunct Cornwall River Kings on that fateful day in October 2012 and had been dropped off in Mirabel for his other job at a bar.
Hours later he would be fighting for his life after a masked figure attempted to gun him down outside his workplace.
How he escaped remains a mystery to him. Lessard said he had just enough time to arch out of the way as the first volley of bullets came his way.
He was shot three time in the right shoulder, three in the chest and once in the thigh, elbow and lower back before he found cover inside the bar.
Lessard, who was released from hospital in December 2012, said he feels victimized by the judicial system but is happy the Crown has appealed the court’s decision to stay the case against Wolfson.
Dannick Lessard was shot nine times in October 2012. His alleged attacker was granted a stay earlier this year.