Repeat offender could face five years for attacking women with knife, club
A “recidivist” criminal with a violent history could spend five years in prison after stabbing a woman on her birthday and clubbing her friend in the head with a metal pipe. During sentencing submissions Thursday for Kenneth Sparks, assistant Crown attorney George Spartinos said the convict is a repeat offender with a “serious criminal record,” and he should do significant time.
“There was no element of self-defence here,” said Spartinos. “It’s an unprovoked, serious attack on two women that he’s a lot larger than.” Sparks, 62, was found guilty in February of aggravated assault and assault with a weapon for the March 20, 2015, attack on Deborah Bondy and Sherry Bechard. Spartinos argued Sparks should be sentenced to five years. Defence lawyer Laura Joy asked for somewhere between nine months and two years, minus 14 months’ credit for the strict bail conditions Sparks was under for three years.
She said he wasn’t allowed to leave the house without being in the company of the person who posted bail for him.
“He wasn’t even allowed to work,” said Joy.
The violence erupted during what was supposed to be a night of celebration. Bechard had invited Sparks over for Bondy’s birthday. Bechard testified at trial that the three were drinking and talking before a planned night out when Sparks suddenly “snapped.” He stabbed Bechard and hit Bondy in the head with a pipe. After Bechard was stabbed, she ran across the street to a friend’s apartment. The friend took her clothes off to tend to the wounds. Police found Bechard naked and bleeding profusely in the bathtub. Court heard Thursday that Sparks already has a long criminal record including convictions for death threats, drug trafficking, assault and sexual assault.
Joy pointed out that most of Sparks’ record is related to property theft, and the last conviction was 15 years ago. “There’s no doubt about it,” she said. “There is a gap.” Spartinos said that despite the amount of time that has passed, the previous convictions are still there, and Sparks shouldn’t be treated like a first-time offender.
“They don’t go away,” he said. Spartinos said the fact there were two victims is an aggravating factor. Bechard was in the hospital for six days. Joy said it speaks to her client’s good character that he didn’t flee after the attack. She added that Sparks has the support of his friends and family. He has five children and about a dozen grandchildren, though he’s not sure exactly how many. He also has some greatgrandchildren.
Joy said Sparks, who suffers from several health problems, is “very sorry for any hurt” he caused the victims.
“He’s hoping he can enjoy his golden years in peace,” said Joy. Superior Court Justice Thomas Carey is expected to pass sentence onJuly3.