A 44-year-old Pangnirtung man will be behind bars for three years, minus time served, for his part in a vicious assault on another man who required 16 staples to close the cuts on his head.
A 27-year-old female co-offender was sentenced to a year in jail, minus time served, for her part in the attack.
The assault took place at a mutual friend’s home on March 5, 2019. Joshua Evic and Jessica Akpalialuk showed up and she got into an argument with the victim. She began punching the victim on his head and his arm. Then Evic joined in and they began kicking the man as well, even after he fell to the ground. The victim was rendered unconscious.
Evic has a criminal record that included past assaults and he spent time in prison for those offences. The victim said he feared Evic and he didn’t know why Evic and Akpalialuk attacked him.
The Crown prosecutor asked for a prison sentence of 4.5 years for the aggravated assault charge. Evic submitted that two years would be more appropriate. The defence cited the “massive bootlegging and drug dealing” taking place in Pangnirtung, which is supposed to be a dry community, as a factor to consider in this case. It was also mentioned that the victim didn’t sustain any long-term injury.
In passing sentencing on Jan. 24, Justice Adriana Doyle took the Gladue and Ipeelee principles into account, which compels courts to reflect on “colonialism, displacement and residential schools and the fact that Aboriginal people continue to suffer from lower education, lower incomes, substance abuse, high suicide rates and, at times, higher levels of incarceration.”
She credited Evic, a father of two children, for expressing remorse and being willing to participate in rehabilitative programs, including Alternatives to Violence.
As for Akpalialuk, a mother of four children who had been drinking prior to the aggravated assault, the Crown asked for a sentence of two years. Akpalialuk, who also has a criminal history of assaults, sought 90 days in jail, plus three years probation. Doyle acknowledged Akpalialuk’s remorse, “a desire to change her ways and return to Pangnirtung to upgrade her education and obtain work” and willingness to participate in a rehabilitative process.
The judge included three years probation with Akpalialuk’s 12-month sentence.