Rafid Jihad sentenced in hammer attack on Windsor teenager

A judge has sentenced a Windsor man to 66 months in prison for a hammer attack on a teenage boy.
Rafid Jihad was found guilty of a hammer attack against a 13-year-old. (Ioana Draghici/CBC)

A judge has sentenced a Windsor man to more than five years in prison for a hammer attack on a teenage boy.

Rafid Jihad was found guilty of attempted murder earlier this year.

Jihad had brought a 40-page handwritten letter in Arabic to the court for the judge to consider in his sentencing. 

Jihad's lawyer, Frank Retar, told the court he was not aware of the letter's contents. After a short recess, it was decided to not submit it to the judge. 

Before Jihad was sentenced on Friday, the judge asked if he had anything to say to the court, but he said no.

The judge sentenced Jihad to 66 months. Because of time served, he will spend an additional 42 months behind bars.

The motive behind the attack was never revealed to the court, which the Crown raised in its sentencing recommendations for a six-to eight-year sentence and a lifetime weapons ban. 

"We all want as human beings some appreciation of motive, then we can make sense of human conduct," said Brian Manarin, the Crown prosecutor for the case.

"I still have concerns as the prosecutor that we don't know why Mr. Jihad did what he did. When we don't know, we have to take a position that is more cautionary than forgiving," Manarin said.  

'Fair and just result'

"I think it's a fair and just result after hearing all of the facts and Mr. Jihad's personal circumstances,"  Retar said outside of the courthouse. "[The judge] took into account all of the factors that mitigated and aggravated in sentencing and it was perfect." 

After the sentence was read, Jihad — who is not a Canadian citizen — was heard saying he wanted to go to Iraq, the country where he was born.

"He very much wants to [go back to Iraq]," Retar said. "There are cultural barriers here, language barriers, and he has found, overall, that his stay in Canada has been problematic for him." 

Refused treatment for mental illness 

Jihad, whom both the prosecution and defence agree suffers from mental illness, has refused treatment while in custody and declined to co-operate with the court's psychiatric assessment. 

"He refuses to acknowledge the need for treatment," Retar said.

The defence lawyer said that Jihad were to seek treatment for his mental condition, it could be managed. But he said if it is left untreated, it is unpredictable.

Teen suffered skull fractures

The attack that Jihad was found guilty of occurred in June of last year.

Police reported at the time that it unfolded as a teenager walked past the home where Jihad lived.

The 13-year-old victim suffered multiple skull fractures.

When police got to the scene, Jihad was reportedly sitting by the side of the road.