Drunk Stanley Cup rioter gets conditional sentence
Spencer Kirkwood, 26, convicted of mischief and participating in a riot
The Stanley Cup rioter who argued he was too drunk to be held responsible for his actions has been handed a 30-day conditional sentence with no jail time.
At a sentencing hearing in Vancouver on Wednesday, Spencer Kirkwood, 26, was also sentenced to two years probation, with a ban on drinking alcohol.
Kirkwood was convicted in April on charges of mischief and participating in a riot after he was caught on tape smashing the windows of a Telus building in downtown Vancouver during the Stanley Cup riot in June 2011.
Kirkwood's lawyer, Jonathan Waddington, argued his client should not serve time in jail because he became an alcoholic after he was knocked unconscious in a violent attack in 2007, leaving him with post-traumatic stress disorder.
"He was drunk. He wasn't looting. He did this. It was one particular event. It was at the lowest end of the scale. He's a good guy," said Waddington.
Crown prosecutors had asked for a 30- to 45-day jail sentence plus 100 to 150 hours of community service.
Prosecutors argued Kirkwood "has no regard for the safety of the community," and the sentence must be a deterrent because residents had been "terrorized by acts of violence."
The Crown noted Kirkwood chose to join the riot after watching the game on TV in a Yaletown apartment, and video evidence showed he had enjoyed using a street barricade to smash the window of the Telus building, helping to fuel a "cycle of violence."
Too intoxicated to remember
The Crown also noted Kirkwood had a drinking problem, and had passed out in a restaurant eight months before the riot with no memory of how he got there.
During his trial in April, Kirkwood claimed he was so drunk he didn't remember anything and should not be held responsible for his actions because he was so intoxicated.
But B.C. Provincial Court Judge Conni Bagnall ruled Kirkwood's intentions were clear and he wasn't too drunk to understand he was doing something wrong and found him guilty of both charges, along with a third charge of breaching his release conditions after he was caught drinking alcohol last May.
So far about 229 people have been charged in relation to the June 2011 riot which broke out in downtown Vancouver after the Vancouver Canucks lost the seventh game of the Stanley Cup Finals to the Boston Bruins.
More than 130 people have entered guilty pleas, and at least 65 have been sentenced, but Kirkwood is the first person who fought the charges to be sentenced.