A Victoria man has been sentenced to three years in prison for violently attacking another man with a baseball bat in the city’s downtown core in the spring of 2020.
In his sentencing decision published Wednesday, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Geoffrey Gomery called the assault a “deliberate, prolonged and brutal attack that took place in full view of onlookers on the sidewalk in downtown Victoria on a sunny afternoon.”
A jury found Shelbe Drummond, 27, guilty of the aggravated assault on a man identified in court documents as Mr. Kloeszar.
The assault occurred on June 1, 2020, outside the Our Place Society shelter in the 900-block of Pandora Avenue, where both Drummond and Kloeszar frequented.
On the day of the assault, Drummond believed that Kloeszar had attacked him in his sleep the night before, the judge wrote.
While it is unclear if that was the case, Drummond came to the shelter that day armed with a baseball bat and waited for Kloeszar.
While waiting, Drummond’s friend tried to persuade him not to attack Kloeszar but was unsuccessful.
Kloeszar arrived and struck up a conversation with Drummond, who waited until Kloeszar turned his back and crouched on the sidewalk to remove something from his backpack.
That’s when Drummond pulled out the bat and repeatedly brought it down on Kloeszar’s face, head and shoulders with what one eyewitness described as “committed swings,” the judge wrote.
When the victim tried to crawl away, Drummond followed and continued to attack him, according to the judge.
When the attack was over, Kloeszar had been struck 10 or 11 times, all of it caught on surveillance video.
Drummond, who was 24 years old at the time, dropped the bat and fled the scene.
Kloeszar did not testify during Drummond’s trial, nor did he provide a victim impact statement at the sentencing phase.
Photographs of his injuries showed extensive bruising to his back and torso, and significant lacerations to his face and head, including one that required at least 10 stitches, according to the judge.
The Crown sought a prison sentence of three to four years, emphasizing that the attack was planned, sustained and brutal. Drummond’s defence counsel proposed a conditional sentence of two years less a day, followed by up to three years of probation.
The judge cited several aggravating factors in the case, including that Drummond waited until Kloeszar was crouched and defenceless before beginning his attack, and that he fled the scene afterward.
Drummond, a father of a six-year-old daughter, with another child on the way, offered “a heartfelt expression of remorse for his actions,” which the judge accepted as a mitigating factor in his sentencing.
“It is good that he has come to this recognition of his fault and a determination to do better,” the judge wrote. “Even a late apology and acknowledgment of error is much better than not at all.”
Along with the three-year prison sentence, the judge ordered Drummond to provide samples for registration with the national DNA database. He is also prohibited from possessing firearms for 10 years upon his release.