Canadian sentenced to 16 months in jail for attack on Muslim woman, daughter
By Barry Ellsworth
TRENTON, Canada (AA) A Canadian man who perpetrated a “racially motivated” attack on a Black Muslim woman and her daughter was sentenced Friday to 16 months in prison and probation for two years.
Richard Bradley Stevens, 43, accommodated the pair Dec. 8, 2020, while they were sitting in their car outside a shopping mall in Edmonton, Alberta.
He uttered racial threats, broke a window and when the pair exited the vehicle, he tore off their hijabs and punched one of the women repeatedly until she passed out. He pleaded guilty to two assault counts and one mischief count.
Stevens’ defense was that he was off his medications that help control a psychotic disorder and was not thinking clearly because he had taken drugs. But Judge Ferne LeReverend did not buy his excuses.
“I reject that because he specifically referred to them as f—ing Somalis and demanded they leave the country,” said LeReverend. She said Stevens has demonstrated a “history of prejudice.”
He has a long criminal record, has been on probation several times and has demonstrated racial prejudice on other occasions.
The older woman is a mother of 10 and the court was told Stevens’ attack erased her sense of security and left lasting mental health wounds. She was bedridden for six months because of a leg injury sustained in the attack.
Her daughter also had physical and psychological injuries as a result of the attack. The court heard she continues to relive the horrid assault on her mother, underwent physiotherapy and missed 90 days of work.
The incident also spurred copycat attacks that engendered fear in the Muslim community, the court heard.
The National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) provided a statement on behalf of the victims in court.
“There’s no doubt that this heinous Islamophobic attack left a tremendous amount of pain on Edmonton, and Alberta, and especially, in particular on Black Muslim women, those who wear hijab and other visible and vulnerable Muslims,” said NCCM lawyer Dalal Souraya. While today was an important day, and was a significant precedent-setting, nothing can undo harm this family and community has had.”
The identity of the victims cannot be disclosed due to a court-ordered publication ban.
[Map by CIA Factbook/Public Domain]
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