Sudbury

Sudbury transit terminal attacker sentenced to time served

The 25-year-old who attacked the Sudbury transit terminal wielding two knives in April is now a free man.

Witnesses heard Alexander Stavropoulos shout "white power" during knife attack

Alexander Stavropoulos was sentenced to time served plus two years probation and a five-year prohibition from owning weapons. He's been in Sudbury jail for 99 days awaiting trial. (Kate Rutherford/CBC)

The 25-year-old who attacked the Sudbury transit terminal wielding two knives in April, is now a free man.

Alexander Stavropoulos pleaded guilty Wednesday morning to one count of possessing a dangerous weapons. 

The other 13 charges laid against him were dropped by the Crown, which reached an agreement with the defence on the punishment for the attack.

Stavropoulos was sentenced to time served (he's been in Sudbury jail for 99 days awaiting trial) plus two years probation and a five-year prohibition from owning weapons.

He will be living in a Sudbury apartment managed by the Canadian Mental Health Association, where he will also be getting treatment for mental illness.

After the sentence was handed down by Justice Andre Guay, Stavropoulos had his shackles removed and limped over to where his family was sitting in the Sudbury courtroom.

Defence lawyer Nicholas Xynnis told the court that Stavropoulos went to the transit terminal the evening of Apr. 1 with the intention of committing "suicide by police."

The Sudbury transit terminal was closed for a day in April while investigators looked into the shooting of a suspect by police. (Sophie Houle-Drapeau/Radio-Canada)

"Fortunately for him, it didn't turn out that way," Xynnis said. 

"He just wanted to kill himself. He didn't want to hurt anybody."

The court heard that Stavropoulos was heard chanting "white power" when he took out two knives and attempted to gain access to the security office at the transit terminal.

When police officers arrived, he charged at them and was shot and tased.

The court heard Stavropoulos was taken to Sudbury hospital with serious injuries, that he was treated for over the next month.

Xynnis said doctors determined he was suffering from "marijuana-induced psychosis" that night and had also been drinking heavily. 

A city transit employee was also taken to hospital that night to get a piece of shrapnel removed from his leg.

That employee was granted $215 in restitution by the court to replace a new pair of pants that now has bullet holes in it, as well as a pair of shoes that were stained with his own blood. 

Brendan Adair is the manager of security, bylaw and parking services for the City of Greater Sudbury. (Casey Stranges/CBC)

This comes as Sudbury city council is set to vote next week on doubling the number of security guards at the downtown bus station.

The city's manager of security, bylaw and parking services Brenda Adair said this proposed policy change wasn't inspired by the April knife attack.

He said there have long been concerns about how safe people feel at the downtown terminal.

"You know, just having more security around can bring forward that perception that the area is safe," said Adair. "There's an impact on riders that frequent the terminal in hopes that they feel safe, there's an impact on staff."

Having two private security guards on duty instead of one is expected to cost Sudbury taxpayers an extra $86,000 per year.

Adair says city staff are also proposing that municipal law enforcement officers, similar to city bylaw officers, replace private security at the downtown terminal in the future and even ride on buses around Greater Sudbury.

"Because there are currently those who don't pay the fair or choose to harass and/or abuse our staff and we're hoping to have a level of response to that," Adair said.

There is no cost estimate yet for that idea and it isn't expected to come before city council until the 2019 budget deliberations. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Erik White

journalist

Erik White is a CBC journalist based in Sudbury. He covers a wide range of stories about northern Ontario. Connect with him on Twitter @erikjwhite. Send story ideas to erik.white@cbc.ca

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