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Hatchet attack brings jail term
Louis Joseph Lemay was sentenced to five months in jail after being found guilty of swinging a hatchet at a former Osoyoos councillor.
Lemay was sentenced on Friday at the Penticton provincial courthouse on one count of possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose and assault with a weapon or causing bodily harm.
In 2009, Lemay had approached former Osoyoos councillor Allan Carswell, who was winterizing his boat with his wife at Haynes Point, and aggressively questioned him on why he was evicted from living at Desert Park Race Track — a horse training facility where Lemay was squatting. The man then pulled a hatchet out of a backpack and swung it at Carswell, nicking his nose and lip before Lemay was contained.
Carswell had sat on the South Interior Recreational Equine Centre board that was overseeing the facility. They had allowed Lemay to live there as long as he did so under certain conditions which included helping out around the facility and not bothering the guests. At trial the court heard that the board received complaints that Lemay had been approaching the guests making them feel uncomfortable.
Crown counsel Nashina Devji told the court previously that the victims reported problems sleeping and having nightmares since the hatchet swinging incident. In a victim impact statement from Carswell he said he believed a repeat attack would occur if Lemay was allowed to live in Osoyoos. Carswell also told the court during the trial that had he not backed up an inch he would have been struck by the hatchet in his head.
Prior to this sentencing, Lemay was given a two-year suspended sentence for uttering threats to an Osoyoos bylaw officer in 2009 after he was evicted from the Desert Park Race Track. RCMP said at trial they had been looking for Lemay four days prior to that incident to order a psychological assessment to be done on the man. Cpl. Jason Bayda told the court RCMP had received a journal from a border guard with disturbing content that had been seized from Lemay as he tried to enter the U.S.
Bayda testified that although the writing in the journal did not directly name anyone, it did mention a “massacre in Osoyoos,” and doing it “Apache-style.” Lemay, who represented himself during both trials, argued the writings were fodder for a novel he was considering writing, in which, “the character goes berserk and kills millions of people, like in a horror movie.”