A man who sucker punched a Coast Mountain bus driver in Burnaby last year, leaving the driver unable to work, has been sentenced to an 18-month conditional sentence, to be served in the community, and two years on probation.
Taking into account his aboriginal status, a provincial court judge ordered Del Louie to spend his sentence in treatment at the Victory Wellness Center in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside.
Louie pleaded guilty to assaulting Charles Dixon in February 2011. The punch shattered Dixon's orbital bone and he has just finished a second round of surgery for breathing problems related to the assault.
During the sentencing hearing in November, Crown prosecutors asked for a sentence of up to one year in jail.
Dixon, who says he's been assaulted 14 times over his 25-year career, says he simply asked Louie not to enter the bus from the back.
Louie, who was 21 at the time of the attack, apologized at the November hearing. His lawyer said that as an aboriginal citizen, Louie suffered from fetal alcohol syndrome and had a troubled upbringing. He asked that he not be sent to jail.
The Canadian Autoworkers Union, which represents bus drivers, says their work is dangerous and assaults on bus drivers are a daily occurrence in Canada. The union said the the court should send a message that assaulting a driver will result in serious consequences.