Hatchet attack on pawn shop owner earns man 10 years in prison

David Woolfson, 78, was attacked in his Edmonton pawn shop by a man with a hatchet in March 2010
David Woolfsen, 78, still suffers from headaches and lost some hearing in the March 2010 attack. (CBC)

A St. Albert man was sentenced to 10 years in prison Thursday for a vicious attack on a 76-year-old Edmonton pawn shop owner.

Kenneth Campbell, 59, attacked David Woolfson with a hatchet in March 2010 as he worked alone at the A1 Trading Store at 95th Street and 111th Avenue.

Woolfson’s ear was severed. He was left unconscious and bleeding on the floor while Campbell took off with cash and jewelry. 

Woolfson needed 68 stitches to reattach his ear and didn't regain consciousness for three hours. 

In sentencing Campbell, Court of Queen’s Bench Justice M. David Gates called the attack calculated and cold-blooded, noting that Woolfson “could have bled to death." 

The judge noted that Campbell has shown no remorse for the attack. 

In a victim impact statement, Woolfson said that he sold his business at a discount after the attack. He now volunteers as a handyman and bingo caller. 

"I feel completely lost and seem to be living a life without purpose," he said in his written statement.  "If only my life hadn't changed that day."

Now 78, Woolfson still suffers from headaches and has problems with his hearing. But his biggest regret is that the attack forced him to retire.

“That is the worst thing that can happen to anyone,” he said outside the courthouse. “All of a sudden I'm old.”


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.