The 23-year-old Belleville woman convicted of assault with a weapon in a stabbing incident in downtown Belleville over a year ago has been sentenced to four months in jail.
On November 11, 2015, city police were called to a downtown address by paramedics who were assisting a man with stab wounds. The victim was rushed to Kingston General Hospital where he had to undergo surgery. Officers charged Gairy-Ann Brown with aggravated assault and 22-year-old Holly Neale with obstructing police. Neales’s charge was later withdrawn. Brown pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of assault with a weapon in November 2016.
On Friday, court heard how an altercation ensued between Brown, Neale and the victim at her apartment. Requesting a conditional discharge, Brown’s lawyer Lennox Picart said the male victim was the aggressor in this case, he hit Brown and the stabbing was done in self defence. Picart said another resident in the building was called to help try and diffuse the situation before the stabbing took place and after they left the argument quickly escalated.
Arguing for a six month jail sentence, assistant crown attorney Adam Zegouras said the victim who is now deceased from separate circumstances maintained he didn’t strike Brown. Zegouras added Brown pushed the victim out of her apartment after she stabbed him and then kicked him down the stairs.
Picart told the court how Brown was a victim of circumstance losing her mom at 16-years-old and forced to move out on her own and work full-time at 17 because she couldn’t rely on her father for support.
She has a bright future, Picart explained, his client now a mother of a five month old daughter was working full time and going through prep classes to attend Loyalist College in the fall.
During his ruling Justice Stephen Hunter said a conditional discharge was unavailable and inappropriate. He recognized it was a difficult matter and the effect it will have on Brown moving forward. He recognized that there may have been aggravating factors but he was concerned about how Brown used a weapon as it could have been life threatening.
He took into consideration the positive strides Brown has made in her life.
“In a case where someone is stabbed, were it not for those positive elements in the pre-sentence report, you would be serving nine to 12 months not four.”
In addition Hunter handed Brown 12 months probation, a 10 year weapons prohibition, a DNA data bank order, and she must attend anger management counselling.
Hunter adjourned the matter until March 3 to deal with the remaining aspects of the disposition to ensure Brown can attain adequate care for her daughter and finish the final stages of her college prep.