The young man who brutally slashed and stabbed two other men in Surrey last year has been ordered to spend another five years and 10 months in prison.
Anthony LaRose, 22, was sentenced Monday afternoon in New Westminster Supreme Court to seven years in jail, minus the 14 months he has already spent in pretrial custody. He also received a lifetime weapons ban.
Chris Hanna, one of the victims, wasn’t satisfied with the sentence.
“It’s still garbage,” he said. “But it is what it is.”
In March, a jury found LaRose guilty of two counts of aggravated assault, two counts of assault with a weapon, and one count of possessing a weapon.
A year earlier, Hanna and Saul Marshall were enjoying an evening out with another friend when they stopped at a gas station on Fraser Highway near 156 Street. Hanna claimed he saw a man hit a woman across the street and ran to help. Marshall followed and a fight ensued.
During the heated exchange, the man, LaRose, pulled a knife on the two unarmed men as they were walking away. He sliced Hanna across the cheek and stabbed him in the chest, stomach and diaphragm and slashed Marshall’s neck before fleeing.
Hanna and Marshall, both now 25, suffered massive blood loss and each underwent emergency surgery.
“Their wounds were unequivocally life threatening,” said Justice Neill Brown in his reasons for sentencing Monday, calling LaRose’s response “savage.”
During the trial, LaRose didn’t deny the stabbing, but claimed it was in self-defence. He said he ran from the scene because he knew police would blame him because of his extensive criminal record. He was on probation at the time of the incident.
In sentencing, Justice Neill noted LaRose’s “relentless pursuit” of the men and the fact he attacked the most vulnerable areas of their bodies. He also pointed to the absence of remorse, and LaRose’s disregard for the law and lack of empathy, which he said was “particularly bothersome” as it is “essential to functioning in society.”
The Crown had sought an eight-year sentence, as well as a weapon prohibition, while LaRose’s defence lawyer requested between three and four years in jail.
Justice Neill encouraged LaRose to use his time in jail wisely, get remedial English classes and help with his substance abuse, anger management and other issues.
“In my view, this sentence is actually in your best interest,” Neill said. “It is now or never that you set yourself on a good path.
“I still hold out hope for you.”
When asked in court if he had anything to say prior to his sentencing, LaRose declined.