Mentally challenged man asked to lead 5-on-1 attack
This is just one of many cases where persons with FASD are used to commit a crime.
“It’s a very graphic and brutal assault,” Crown attorney Adam Bergen said. “Probably many of them are, but we don’t often get to see them in colour with very clear audio.”
Lawrence Laquette, 27, pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated assault for his part in the Aug. 3, 2013 attack.
The 48-year-old male victim was set upon in a park near Thunderbird House on Main Street, for reasons that still remain unclear. A disturbing cellphone video recorded by a passerby shows the five accused punching, kicking and stomping on the victim several dozen times as he screamed for them to stop. Near the end of the attack, a female co-accused stabbed the victim in the head with a pair of scissors.
Laquette’s co-accuseds included two cousins and a man he described as an uncle.
Court heard Laquette was living in a group home just outside of the city when he received a phone call from his sister saying his family members needed help. The four co-accused waited for Laquette before confronting and surrounding the victim.
Laquette “was essentially sicced on (the victim) like you would send an attack dog to attack a person and that is exactly what he did,” Bergen said.
Bergen likened the attack to a group of predators taking down a prey. “When you consider that everyone except Mr. Laquette is in various states of inebriation, it’s almost impressive in its efficiency,” he said.
Bergen recommended Laquette be sentenced to as long as six years in prison, while defence lawyer Jeremy Kostiuk urged Justice Colleen Suche to consider a sentence of time served plus probation.
According to a pre-sentence report prepared for court, Laquette is of borderline intelligence and suffers from fetal alcohol spectrum disorder.
At the time of the attack, Laquette was on bail for slashing a female cousin in the face during a drinking party, an offence for which he was later sentenced to three months custody and three years supervised probation.
Kostiuk said Laquette is generally “easy going” but is also easily led and does not consider the consequences of his actions.
“He’s not really in a position to say no to his family, given the issues he presents with,” Kostiuk told Suche. “I don’t think there is any way you cannot recognize a reduced moral culpability.”
Suche will sentence Laquette next wee