6-month jail term sought

Kruger-Allen

A Penticton man accused of an assault that left the victim in a coma earlier this year will face sentencing next week for a separate attack in 2017.

Thomas Kruger-Allen, 21, has pleaded guilty to assault and breach of undertaking for two separate incidents.

Court heard that on Aug. 12, 2017, police responded to an injured male bleeding profusely from his face outside the former Mule Nightclub in Penticton.

Witnesses said four or five men were seen leaving the scene, and they were later located by RCMP. Kruger-Allen was arrested alongside a friend after they found blood, which was later identified as the victim’s, on Kruger-Allen’s shoe.

Crown counsel Nashina Devji said the victim was lured out to the alley by one male and was “swarmed.”

The man was punched by one male, fell to the ground, and was kicked by Kruger-Allen.

He was left with a shattered nose and orbital bone and required stitches.

“Mr. Kruger-Allen is chronically angry, and has a high potential to express anger and hostility through verbal means, physical means, or both. He’s likely to be impulsive, sensation-seeking and reckless, and has disregard for convention and authority,” Devji told the court.

“The nature of those factors causes some very serious concerns. If he has intermittent explosive disorder, and he’s also always angry and has the potential to express that anger physically, all while doing it without giving much thought . . . that combination leads to a real serious concern about public safety when Mr. Kruger-Allen is out in the community.”

She asked the judge to consider a six- to eight-month prison sentence, followed by two years of probation.

Defence counsel Norman Yates countered by asking that if Kruger-Allen is sentenced to prison, he be credited with part of the time he spent at the Okanagan Correctional Centre from May to June, followed by probation.

Devji said Kruger-Allen was involved in fights during his most recent stay at the OCC, and was disrespectful of the correctional officers.

He even spent a significant amount of time in segregation.

“What’s interesting to note here is, even in a completely controlled environment, where he was being monitored and supervised by employees, Mr. Kruger-Allen struggled to keep his anger and his aggressiveness in check.”

Devji said Kruger-Allen is currently under investigation, but has not been arrested or charged, for an assault case in November 2018.

She also told the court Kruger-Allen has been in touch with one of his victims since his release on June 24, has been mingling with a “criminally entrenched” crowd and was abusive towards RCMP during a recent curfew check.

Devji spoke of Kruger-Allen’s childhood, painting a picture of a child who was neglected, abused and witness to drug and alcohol binges by his parents.

“Mr. Kruger-Allen had a very, very difficult and sad childhood,” said Devji.

Court heard Kruger-Allen was oftentimes subject to extreme neglect, was starved and left to roam the Penticton Indian Reserve when he was as young as five.

Yates denied allegations that Kruger-Allen has contacted a victim and said RCMP were “egging him on and pushing his buttons and teasing him” during their curfew check.

He also said Kruger-Allen was the victim of violence at the OCC since inmates had discovered he was charged with sexual assault, and had asked to be put in segregation after being attacked in the jail’s hospital wing.

Yates argued Kruger-Allen has had no prior criminal record prior to the incident outside The Mule, adding that the attack was not a “swarm” as the Crown had presented it, since the victim had followed the group with the intention to fight.

“He has emphasized to me that he wants to undergo residential treatment to try and address his apparent problems with alcohol use. He tells me drug use isn’t an issue for him,” said Yates.

Devji told the court that residential treatment, however, has proven to be difficult since most programs refuse to take Kruger-Allen with his current outstanding charges.

Kruger-Allen’s breach of undertaking stems from an incident on March 16, when his mother told police Kruger-Allen was drunk, was destroying her house and had punched her.

“His mother didn’t want to pursue charges for the assault. She just wanted her son to be dealt with because his behaviour was out of control,” said Devji.

Kruger-Allen is currently on bail facing charges of aggravated assault, sexual assault and two counts of common assault after allegedly punching a man at Okanagan Lake in May, causing him to fall and hit his head, leaving him in a medically induced coma.

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