Bill Groeneveld is satisfied with the sentence an Alberta man received Thursday for an attack that has left the blind McBride man with extensive injuries from which he continues to need treatment.
Michael Allan Richter, 34, of Ponoka, was sentenced to a further 27 months in jail for the attack in the early morning pf Dec. 11, 2011 that left Groeneveld with 34 facial fractures, short term memory loss and extensive trouble with his jaw.
In total, Richter received a three-and-a-half year term less 15 months credit for time already served in custody.
"I think it's fine by me, I think it was a balanced sentence," Groeneveld said.
Groeneveld was also satisfied with Richter's apology prior to sentencing, noting he took the time to turn around and say sorry to his victim directly.
"I'll take it that he meant it," Groeneveld said.
Richter, who was in the Robson Valley for a snowmobiling trip and was drunk and high on cocaine at the time, has said he does not remember anything about what happened.
Groeneveld had testified he managed to get a ride from Richter after getting lost in the new snow while trying to return home from a McBride nightspot. However, Richter's SUV went off the road and the two left the vehicle.
After walking for a few minutes, Groeneveld, who is gay, said he thought Richter had made a pass at him and touched his buttock and his groin. In response, he said Richter struck him at least twice to the side of his head and suspects a third blow knocked him unconscious.
With the temperature hovering around -10 C, Groeneveld was left in a snow bank while Richter returned to the SUV a short distance away. Groeneveld was found around 4 a.m. when someone heard his cry for help and Richter was apprehended after he attempted to flee police.
The court heard Thursday that Richter has a long list of criminal offences to his name - break and enter, trafficking, drunk driving and fleeing police among them - although this was his first violent offence.
Groeneveld hopes this latest offence serves as a wake up call for Richter and that he changes his ways and ends his string of "stupid crimes."
"He's get a little adultish for stupidity as far as I'm concerned and I'm sure all the stupidity comes from drugs and alcohol," Groeneveld said. "If he quit both of those, he'd never see the inside of a court again."
Groeneveld said he's continuing to receive treatment for his injuries and has trouble figuring out where he is while out and about.
"As far as processing what's coming off the end of my cane, that's slower," Groeneveld said. "I used to be pretty damned good at that but now, there are times when I really do have to stop because I can't get the feedback."
But Groeneveld continues to go out on his own, "out of sheer stubbornness."