Re­peat of­fender could face five years for at­tack­ing women with knife, club

Windsor Star - - CITY + REGION - TREVOR WIL­HELM twil­helm@post­media.com

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.

Ken­neth Sparks

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