A man who admitted to helping beat and kick his friend unconscious over a $250 amp says he is “getting too old” to continue with the lifestyle drugs led him to.
“My dad’s here and he needs me,” Tyrone McDougall told Judge Ellen Gordon Friday in Surrey Provincial Court, shortly before he was sentenced.
“I’m going to make the best of the chance I’m given.”
McDougall, 34, pleaded guilty in December to assault and assault causing bodily harm in connection with the attack, which occurred May 22, 2012 in White Rock and prompted a police raid two days later.
He was one of two men arrested for the crime; his co-accused, Robert Dean Orr, was sentenced in December to nine months in jail.
Friday, Crown Angela Lee told Gordon that McDougall, Orr and the attack victim were all drug users at the time of the offence.
She said the incident occurred when McDougall and Orr went to a White Rock home to collect on proceeds from the sale of an amplifier, and found the equipment had been “sold” for crystal meth. Those proceeds were shared between two men who lived at the home, she said.
After learning about the sale, McDougall punched one man in the face and then he and Orr waited until the friend who had shared the drugs came home.
At that time, both McDougall and Orr “began assaulting (the friend) without warning, simultaneously.”
They punched and kicked him until he lost consciousness, then repeated the beating when the man woke up, again until he lost consciousness, Lee said.
Photos shown to the court showed the badly bruised and swollen victim in a neck brace.
In asking Gordon to impose a six-month jail term and one year probation, Lee said McDougall’s criminal record is an aggravating factor. It includes previous violent offenses in 2000 and 2002.
Defence lawyer Danny Markovitz asked for a sentence of time served – McDougall had been in custody 125 days as of Friday – noting his client has the support of his parents and plans to work in Kitimat.
Markovitz said McDougall, who grew up on the Semiahmoo Peninsula, started using drugs when he was 20 years old.
It “coincided with his criminal activity,” he said.
Markovitz told Gordon it would be “disingenuous” to suggest with any certainty that his client won’t fall back into his pattern of drug abuse and crime once released.
Gordon reminded McDougall of some of the collateral damage of his crime.
“Among other things, you ruined a lifelong friendship,” she said. “Have you seen the photos (of the victim)? It’s pretty horrific what happened.”
After deciding time served was an appropriate punishment – along with a 10-year weapons prohibition and 75 hours of community service – Gordon told McDougall he owes it to more than himself to stay on the right path.
“Your father’s been coming here for 14 years. You owe him, not yourself,” the judge said.
Outside court, McDougall’s father said he was optimistic his son will turn his life around. He also expressed relief he was to be released from custody.
“I’m tickled pink,” Tom McIntosh told Peace Arch News. “I think he’s figured it out. I hope so.
“There’s a good person in there.”
Also Friday, Gordon sentenced McDougall to one day in jail in connection with a June 1, 2012 incident, when police arresting him on an outstanding warrant found .45 grams of heroin in his “man-purse.”