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article imageCanadian girl, 16, sentenced in beating of homeless man

By Megan Hamilton     Dec 1, 2014 in Crime
North Sydney - A teen girl from North Sydney, Nova Scotia, was sentenced on Wednesday to an additional two months in custody alongside four months she has already served for aggravated assault in the beating of a homeless man.
The girl was sentenced to an additional three months of supervision and 15 months of probation, The Herald News reports. Part of her sentencing also stems from the fact that she breached a court order to stay away from people with criminal records. The others accused in the beating all have criminal records.
The teen girl, 16, who can't be named due to legal provisions in Canada, was part of a group of four people present in July when Shawn Kurtis Jack was beaten so badly with a hammer and a wrench that parts of his skull were embedded in his brain, per The Herald News.
Jack and his dog Chico were living in a tent in woods behind a supermarket in North Sydney at the time of the attack.
Before sentencing, Judge Jean Whalen gave the girl a stern message:
"I keep saying this, unfortunately more times than I care to count," she said. "If you continue to drink and do drugs, two things will happen to you: One, you will end up in jail, and two, you will end up dead."
"You've already spent some time in the Nova Scotia Youth Facility as a result of your drinking and drug use and the horrendous assault upon Mr. Jack."
On that night in July, the teen left a North Sydney party with a woman and two men, and also with the full knowledge that Jack was going to be assaulted, Crown attorney Glenn Gouthro told the Herald News.
The men, carrying a hammer and a wrench, shook Jack's tent, pretending to be police officers, striking him on the head with the weapons before he had even completely emerged, Gouthro said. The hammer broke at one point, with the head being found nearby, but the handle has never been found.
While the teenager and the woman didn't take part in the beating, they did nothing to prevent it, nor did they help the injured man afterward, he said, per the Herald News.
The group went back to the party, cleaned the wrench and hid it, Gouthro said. Later on, others helped hide the wrench in different place.
After the attack, Jack managed to somehow make his way through the woods to the store's parking lot where employees found his bloodied body and called for help, The Cape Breton Post reports. He was airlifted to Halifax after being stabilized at a Sydney hospital.
The attack was so vicious that Jack is still hospitalized in Halifax after having surgery, the court was told, per the Herald News. He is unable to speak and will have to learn how to walk again. He is also dependent on a feeding tube and will need extensive rehabilitation when he is released from the hospital.
"Basically, his skull was fractured in various places and crushed, and parts of the bone from the skull were embedded in his brain tissue," Gouthro said.
He faces another surgery and it isn't known when he will be able to leave the hospital, according to a victim impact statement filed by his family, the Post reports. It is also too early to tell how extensively Jack may suffer cognitive and speech impairments, Gouthro told the Post.
The Herald News reports that four people are charged with attempted murder. One other person faces charges that include aggravated assault.
Among those charged:
Corey Patrick Blinkhorn, 22, and Kyle William Nichol, 25, both North Sydney residents, face charges including attempted murder, aggravated assault and wearing a disguise — a bandanna.
Gordon William Bobbitt, 47, and James Darren Clarke, 34, also North Sydney residents, are also charged with attempted murder.
Jennifer Lynn MacLeod, 22, of Boularderie has been charged with aggravated assault, wearing a disguise (also a bandanna), and two counts of breaching court orders.
For her part, the teenager, dressed in a uniformly grey hooded sweatshirt and grey pants, sat quietly during the two-hour hearing, per The Herald News.
She and her mother were asked if they had anything to say to the court, but both said no.
The girl will also have to follow other conditions. She will have to live at her mother's house under a curfew, and will have to undergo drug, alcohol and anger counseling.
Whalen followed up her stern warning about drugs and alcohol by urging the girl to get new friends.
The judge also addressed the girl's mother, telling her that the teenager needs strong parenting.
"I would say to you as her mother, she doesn't need you as a best friend. She needs a mother who will be firm and yet supportive."
While the girl has a good relationship with her mother, she has little or no relationship with her father. Her anger issues stem from earlier sexual assaults when she was nine and 13, The Chronicle Herald reports.
While acknowledging that the teenager is an intelligent person who has suffered and made bad choices, Whalen, Gouthro, and the defense gave her credit for taking responsibility for her part in the assault by pleading guilty. They also noted that the girl has received good reports from program workers in the youth facility.
Fortunately, Jack will have something positive to look forward to when he is fully recovered. His dog, Chico, is waiting patiently for him at a doggy daycare, provided by the Cape Breton SPCA, The Herald News reports.
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