Penticton sucker punch will net 1-2 years in jail

Joshua Mcbride punched a man out of nowhere in downtown Penticton in August 2016

A Penticton man who randomly sucker punched a man in the middle of the night in downtown Penticton will face between one and two years in jail, with a judge expected to deliver his sentence Wednesday afternoon.

Joshua Alexander Mcbride is facing sentencing for one count each of assault causing bodily harm, aggravated assault and uttering threats to cause death or bodily harm for a sucker punch in the early hours of Aug. 28, 2016.

Police got a call at 2 a.m. that morning to a male who had been assaulted by another man at Main Street and Nanaimo Avenue, and upon arrival found a man lying on his back going in and out of consciousness.

He was unable to speak to police, but several bystanders were able to speak to the incident.

The victim’s brother said they were walking home when Mcbride, unknown to them, approached them and said something to the effect of “I’m an asshole; sorry about this,” before punching him for no apparent reason.

Mcbride reportedly became aggressive with the brother, but before things could escalate, a woman intervened.

Mcbride’s girlfriend at the time later called police to say she was with Mcbride when he hit the victim, as the two had been fighting throughout the night. When she later threatened to call the police, he told her he would “f—-ing kill” her.

“This was an unprovoked attack on a defenceless victim, which caused significant and serious injury. There is an expectation in our society that you should be able to walk down the street and not be attacked,” Crown lawyer Kurt Froelich said.

Froelich noted some serious injuries sustained by the victim, including eight bones broken in his face, bone fragments in his eye and an infection in his eye. The man required surgery, has had a titanium plate inserted into his cheek area, and now has no feeling in that area.

But the impact has had more far-reaching effects than just the immediate victim.

“I close my eyes at night, and most of my dreams consist of me and my boyfriend being attacked or chased by a man. The sounds of the bones breaking sounds so real,” his girlfriend said in an impact statement, noting she has since been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Mcbride’s girlfriend at the time also noted psychological issues resulting from the incident, including panic attacks and distrust.

Mcbride did not have a criminal record prior to that incident, despite an exceptionally rough upbringing.

Among his family members, his brother, Harley Mcbride, is currently facing federal prison time for his involvement in a non-fatal shooting of a 24-year-old man on Jan. 9 last year, though he pleaded guilty only to break-and-enter to commit an indictable offence and possession of a loaded, restricted firearm.

Related: Two years in jail for Penticton shooting

He skirted 13 other charges, including assault with a weapon and further weapons charges, but the details of that sentencing hearing held last summer are under wraps from a publication ban.

Defence lawyer Bob Maxwell also detailed numerous severe traumas Joshua Mcbride suffered, from direct traumas to witnessing traumatic incidents.

Froehlich suggested a sentence of 18 to 24 months in jail, while Maxwell suggested a lighter sentence of about 12 months.

“There has to be a punishment,” Maxwell admitted. It can’t be jail in the community. Got to be real jail.”

Mcbride has reportedly been sober since his release on bail, living with a lifelong friend in Coquitlam, and offered both a written apology to the court and an emotional verbal apology.

“I just want to apologize to the victims. I think about it everyday,” Mcbride said through tears. “I feel terrible.”

Judge Meg Shaw is expected to deliver her sentence Wednesday afternoon.


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