Calgary man sentenced to 7 years in 'brutal' stabbing of Regina cab driver
Iqbal Singh Sharma suffered severe neck and head injuries in 2016 attack
A Calgary man has been sentenced to seven years behind bars for an attack that nearly killed a Regina cab driver. The decision was handed down on Friday at Regina's Court of Queen's Bench.
With credit for time served, 22-year-old Leroy Redwood will face 4½ more years for the 2016 assault on Iqbal Singh Sharma and two passengers.
He pleaded guilty to three counts of aggravated assault last year.
The judge said she agreed with the Crown prosecutor's description of the attack as "extremely brutal."
During the sentencing, court heard Redwood and the two other passengers had been drinking together on that evening in November.
They decided to take a cab to a nightclub and an argument broke out on the way there. Redwood attacked the two passengers first before stabbing and kicking Sharma outside of his taxi.
Sharma suffered severe neck and head injuries and had to be placed in a medically-induced coma.
At one point, Sharma was being fed through a tube and couldn't walk or talk. He required three brain surgeries after the attack.
Court heard Sharma was a newcomer to Canada and drove taxi temporarily while pursuing a career in engineering.
Due to his injuries, it is unlikely he will be able to work as an engineer and is still recovering from the ordeal.
"He still has a lot of work to do," said Rhonda Fiddler from Regina police's victim services unit. She spoke on his behalf at the sentencing.
"He has a lot of challenges as far as mobility with his leg and his arm but he is hopeful and positive for the future," she said.
During the sentencing, the judge noted Redwood's upbringing was taken into account. He grew up around violence and addiction, with his father dying from a stab wound.
The court heard Redwood was so intoxicated at the time of the assault he couldn't recall doing it.
"We had asked for 11 years, the sentence was 7 years, " said senior Crown prosecutor Kim Jones.
He said he was a bit disappointed, but understands the judge's decision based on Redwood's background.
The defence, meanwhile, requested Redwood serve a four year sentence.
"The point of arguing the sentence was to leave it up to the judge to decide based on the facts and the law and to apply the law to the facts and come to a decision," said defence lawyer Thomas Hynes.
"That's what we have here."
At the time of sentencing, Redwood had spent 935 days in custody.