The prosecution is asking for four years in prison, and the defense, 18 months in prison, for mobster Nicola Spagnolo convicted of aggravated assault last December.
Spagnolo, 48, stabbed a patron of a bar in Old Montreal – the victim’s name is covered by a publication ban – following an argument outside the establishment on 2 August 2020.
The young man has two scars 30 and 15 centimeters long, on the stomach and on the side. He spent four days in hospital and recovered for three months.
During his sentencing argument, which took place Wednesday morning at the Montreal courthouse, the prosecutor, Me Matthew Ferguson, read to Judge Yves Paradis of the Court of Quebec a victim impact statement in which the latter claims in particular to suffer from stress, anxiety, distrust, hypervigilance and paranoia since the events.
The victim, who is self-employed, lost three months of income and had to start working earlier than expected to be able to pay his rent.
“I fear retaliation. I am afraid all the time and everywhere. I get nervous when an unknown car pulls up near my house,” Ferguson read, quoting the young man.
“The act of Mr. Spagnolo committed without warning was vicious, underhanded and cowardly”, added the prosecutor, also considering as aggravating factors the background of the mobster, the seriousness of the injuries and their consequences for the victim, and the fact that at the time of the crime, Nicola Spagnolo, who was 45, “was not a young man”.
“He had the time and space to walk away from the victim but instead came back to confront her,” Ferguson added.
“There are situations that cannot be excused but can be explained. It was not my client who caused the incident and who added fuel to the fire, “retorted Spagnolo’s lawyer, Me Danièle Roy, pointing out the state of intoxication of the victim.
“She was the one who sought trouble. There was no premeditation or relentlessness,” continued the criminal lawyer who used the word “picosser” to describe the victim’s behavior towards her client.
Mr. Roy also argued that Spagnolo’s last criminal history dated back seven years before the crime and had “nothing to do” with the current record.
“This is an isolated event. There is no fear of recurrence. How could you deviate from the [sentence] range of 15 to 24 months?” asked Me Roy to Judge Paradis.
The criminal lawyer said that her client told her of his remorse and his sympathy for the consequences experienced by the victim, and that he did not rule out the idea of compensating her financially for her loss of income for three months.
Me Roy asked the judge that his client not be incarcerated immediately so that he could attend a family event that will take place in the coming weeks.
Judge Paradis will deliver his decision on July 12.
Spagnolo is believed by police to be a member of the Sicilian clan of the Montreal Mafia, but the assault on a bar patron on August 2, 2020 is not Mafia related.