A former Vancouver gang member who had both of his legs amputated after a brutal stabbing hopes to turn his life around in Penticton by warning school children of the consequences of gang life.
“He’s already been sentenced to life, that’s my submission,” said Robert Maxwell, defence counsel for Scott Andrew McArthur, 26, who pleaded guilty on Sept. 30 to the breaking and entering of a Vancouver business in February 2014.
McArthur was very emotional when speaking to the court, he said he and his mother, who was by his side in the courtroom, have faced drug abuse issues for a long time, but he has been clean since the stabbing.
“We’ve been going through hell, every day is a challenge. I’m not longer a threat to society,” McArthur said. “I really want to do better with my life after what has happened.”
“I’m very lucky to be alive and I thank God for that,” McArthur said.
Maxwell said his client is a former member of the Greeks gang and was the target of a stabbing on Dec. 26, 2014 after refusing an order to take drugs into a prison. After leaving the area for North Fraser, McArthur was the target of a stabbing for refusing the gang’s order. He was attacked by three assailants and died on the operating table twice, with severed arteries doctors were forced to amputate his legs to save McArthur’s life Maxwell said.
“He basically got stabbed to death,” Maxwell said, adding that his client still faces significant medical and personal challenges looking forward.
Crown counsel John Swanson called McArthur’s criminal record “significant” with directly related charges and convictions including a one-year jail sentence served in Surrey in 2009, suggesting a sentence at the “high-provincial or low-federal rate.”
“He got stabbed doing the right thing, contrary to what that record says,” Maxwell said.
The charge of breaking and entering was waived in from Vancouver as McArthur and his mother now reside in Penticton.
On Feb. 13, 2014 a glass panel on the front door of a business on East Cordova Street in Vancouver was smashed in and an iMac computer, a keyboard and cables were taken. There was blood left at the scene which was quickly matched to McArthur’s by police via DNA testing.
“I’m asking this court to take the circumstances into account and not impose high provincial time,” Maxwell said.
McArthur has been approached by groups asking him to speak to schools about the dangers of gang life.
“I think that is admirable and would have a very positive impact,” Judge Greg Koturbash said.
“I anticipate that that period in custody would be a challenging one for him,” Koturbash said. “I’m also satisfied that Mr. McArthur at this stage in his life no longer poses a threat to the community.”
Koturbash sentenced McArthur to a nine-month conditional sentence to be served within the community with a curfew from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m.
Koturbash said that he was “philosophically opposed” to imprisoning McArthur and encouraged him to pursue speaking to schools.
“I look forward to it actually,” McArthur said.