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Eight months in jail for B.C. man who attacked stranger out walking his dog

The 63-year-old victim had undergone heart surgery a few weeks earlier and was in fragile shape.
The Kamloops Law Courts.

A Kamloops man who randomly attacked a 63-year-old stranger out walking his dog has been ordered to spend eight months in jail.

Taha Mohamad, 35, was sentenced in Kamloops provincial court on Monday after pleading guilty to three counts of assault.

Court heard a 63-year-old man was walking his dog in the 700-block of Tranquille Road on May 18 when he was attacked.

Crown prosecutor Andrew Duncan said Mohamad approached the man and shoved him hard in the chest, knocking him to the ground. The victim had undergone heart surgery a few weeks earlier and was in fragile shape.

“We’re talking about an individual unknown to Mr. Mohamad going about their day, walking their dog, being pushed to the ground,” Duncan said.

"This was an individual who just two weeks earlier had heart surgery and had four stents installed, and then two weeks later is having his chest pushed. He is lucky it didn’t cause greater harm.”

Mohamad also pleaded guilty to two unrelated domestic assaults, both involving the same victim. He assaulted her on July 31 and Sept. 16.

Defence lawyer Cam Johnson said Mohamad is a refugee from Iran who has been in Canada for 20 years. He is addicted to alcohol and drugs, but is hoping to turn his life around.

“The assault itself was horrendous, let alone someone that’s just had a surgery and then encountered someone like me,” Mohamad said. “I wouldn’t wish that on anybody.”

Lawyers presented a joint submission for an eight-month jail sentence less time served, plus a year of probation. Duncan described it as “lenient” — and Kamloops provincial court Judge Ray Phillips agreed with that description, but went along with it.

“This is a lenient sentence jointly submitted by counsel,” he said.

"Normally, the sentence would be more jail time and more conditions with respect to probation, but it’s been suggested by counsel that perhaps Mr. Mohamad is changing his ways. We’ll wait and see on that.”

Once he’s given credit for time served, Mohamad will have about a month remaining on his sentence. While on probation, he will be required to abide by conditions prohibiting him from contacting either victim.

Mohamad was also ordered to submit a sample of his DNA to a national criminal database and barred from possessing firearms for five years.