Man who beat teen raps his apology in court

Rosie Mullaley
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Matthew King will be sentenced Tuesday

Matthew Paul King was in provincial court in St. John’s Wednesday for his sentencing hearing, during which he rapped an apology to the family of the teenager he brutally beat last month. —Telegram file photo

Matthew Paul King expressed his remorse the best way he knew how for brutally beating a teenager.

In an unusual move at provincial court in St. John’s Wednesday, King performed a rap when he testified at his sentencing hearing.

Entitled “Forgiveness,” it was a piece King said he wrote in preparation for the hearing.

“This called a formal apology,” King rapped, moving his hands to the beat, as he stood in the prisoner’s dock in provincial court in St. John’s.

“Let the past be the past. Focus on tomorrow, please. Accept this as a sorry. I’m tryin’ to be a better man.”

King is a former member of a rap group called Lakeside, which has their work posted on YouTube. King said he was in negotiations with a Toronto music company about a contract when the charges were laid.

The 22-year-old pleaded guilty to five charges — hit and run, failing the breathalyzer and breach of probation, which stem from a July 20 incident; and assault causing bodily harm and breach of probation from an Aug. 4 incident.

On July 20, King was drunk when he drove a car that struck another vehicle on Hamlyn Road. He took off before police arrived. Officers eventually tracked him down. He was released shortly after his arrest.

A few weeks later, on Aug. 4, King was again drunk when he viciously attacked a 5-foot-8, 105-lb. 16-year-old boy. It happened behind Peter’s Pizza on Hamlyn Road, where a group had gathered.

After the assault — during which King punched the boy and kicked him while he lay on the ground — King got in a cab with a friend and left.

When police got there, the teen was motionness on the ground. He was rushed to hospital.

The RNC issued an advisory to the public, seeking help in finding King.

The driver of the cab that King took that night told officers he heard King and the other man talking about the assault, saying how the teenager was “in bad shape.”

The teenager suffered serious injuries, including a fractured skull, broken nose, broken cheek bones and swelling on the brain.

He was semi-conscious for a portion of his three-week stay in hospital.

King was originally charged with aggravated assault, but Crown prosecutor William Cadigan agreed to replace that with the lesser charge of assault causing bodily harm. That was after a doctor indicated that the teen’s injuries were not so serious to warrant such a charge, since they were not life-threatening.

However, the boy’s mother would disagree.

When she took the stand, she told the court that her son still suffers the effects of the beating.

She said her son has a problem with memory and has vision problems. He also can’t smell, has lost all sense of time and becomes agitated and frustrated easily.

“He has good days and bad days,” she said. “There are days when I just break down and cry.”

She said it’s been a difficult time for the family, “and it’s going to be a long road.”

During his testimony, King apologized to the family and blamed it on his problem with alcohol.

He said he had consumed two cases of beer the night he assaulted the teenager.

“I definitely have a severe alcohol problem. … I just black out,” King said. “I’m very sorry. It shouldn’t have happened.”

King said it was a case of mistaken identity.

“I got into a fight with the wrong person. I thought (he) was someone else,” he said.

“He was in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

Cadigan and legal aid duty counsel Jane Fitzpatrick will present their recommendations on sentencing on Tuesday.

Fitzpatrick requested permission of Judge Greg Brown to play a CD, containing King’s rap music, at the next court appearance.

Cadigan objected, saying it had nothing to do with the case. Fitzpatrick said it bodes to King’s future prospects.

Brown will make his decision on that, as well as sentencing, at that time.

Twitter: @TelyCourt


 The text of Matthew King's rap


Another day goes by

And all the answers

to my questions

All become a lie.


Why do I do this to myself?

Should of had

some common sense.

But the knowledge comes the fence

Between me tryin’ to make amends.


This called a formal apology

Let the past be the past.

Focus on tomorrow please

Accept this as a sorry,

I’m tryin’ to be a better man


But my appearance

tends to worry some

And I can’t make it right.

Time heals all wounds they say

that man shouldn’t fight.


The bible say God forgives us

of our sins.

May Him strike me dead

next time I wanna throw a fist

Heads low only feelin’ remorse so take the verse I wrote resourceful.

God help this felon’s scored soul.


This is a corrected version.

Geographic location: Hamlyn Road, Toronto

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Recent comments

  • What the?
    October 02, 2012 - 20:57

    "Shoud of had some common sense" -- more like: should have paid more attention in English class. Also, God forgives His elect, and His elect only. Some brutish, tattoo-stained, violent drunkard does not quite fit that description. Maybe some jail time will be a time where he can bring forth some fruit meet for repentance.

    September 28, 2012 - 18:21

    i must say this guy must have some serious problems beating up a 16 year old boy and rapping in court ,as another comment stated it do seem like the trailer park boys,this guy is a sad excuess and posting stuff like this only makes us as fellow newfoundlands look very very bad lol i think this guy needs a good kick in the , well im sure you get it lol

  • Jim Lahey
    September 28, 2012 - 10:05

    What is our system coming too ? Sounds like an episode of the trailer park boys to me, hes next court date he will want to smoke and swear in court, If i was to guess id say ricky is he's role model, obviously we found cory just a matter of finding trevor now...

  • Jack Be Nimble
    September 27, 2012 - 19:24

    What a joke, his rap name is "YOUNG FELON" and Lakeside dumped his ass 3 months ago, he has no future in music, hes lucky Lakeside gave em a chance, at least they came to their senses and gave em his walking papers, he has NO negotiations with record labels. MAY JUSTICE BE SERVED!

  • Ray
    September 27, 2012 - 18:15

    Everyone please! You never heard it sang to a beat! Please... Lock him up, throw the key away. People like this should be far removed from society.

  • Floored
    September 27, 2012 - 14:09

    I am absolutely floored that this farce was allowed in our Court of Law. I can't believe a judge even considered this crap. Rapping a statement? That is an insult to our justice system (such as it is). This loser was allowed to make a mockery of our system. Shame on you judge.

  • Chad
    September 27, 2012 - 13:26

    Maybe the family should take a civil action against this punk. That way should he profit from being a gansta the victim can receive some compensation.

  • Peter Dawe
    September 27, 2012 - 13:01

    Excuse me but maybe Im wrong....when does an innocent person have to be careful of being in the wrong place at the wrong time??? People of this substance take away from everyones rights and freedoms and need to be locked away. This is not an isolated issue..He is certainly a repeat offender and a menace to society as a whole. We should not pitty this individual due to a claim of a dream of a music career??? What about the young man he attacked???? What about his life and career...that was never once considered and with that in mind we should now go easy on the poor man going to see it wasnt his fault...really??? I think not.

  • David
    September 27, 2012 - 12:47

    Obvious and cunninig insanity defense....any other explanation is simply not healthy to consider.

  • Mary
    September 27, 2012 - 12:20

    This is more then disgusting, his rap words "let the past be the past focus on tomorrow", the young man he cowardly, repeatedly punched may not be able to get his focus back.

  • Disgusted
    September 27, 2012 - 10:42

    "Cadigan objected, saying it had nothing to do with the case. Fitzpatrick said it bodes to King’s future prospects." Yes, the fact that King felt this was appropriate certainly gives me an indication of this guy's future prospects......

  • well
    September 27, 2012 - 10:31

    hey everyone look at the good side , brown will give him a slap on the wrist because he sang a nice song, now if it had ot be my son that was beaten like that. Brown would be sentanecing me

    • concerned
      September 27, 2012 - 15:46

      couldn't have said it any better!!!!

  • Future Teen Parent
    September 27, 2012 - 10:29

    I have just read this article and had to read it over and over and try to understand and picture what our daily courtroom is like. I did read the lyrics to this young mans rap song and quite frankly anybody any person who has committed unlawful acts of any kind can do the same. King said it was a case of mistaken identity. “I got into a fight with the wrong person. I thought (he) was someone else,” he said. “He was in the wrong place at the wrong time.” Obviously he intended on breaking the law, so he should pay for that crime. The boy who was violently injured and along with his parents will have to live with the long term outcomes of the crime, so why is it that the rap boy may not?

  • Jay
    September 27, 2012 - 09:14

    Has the Telegram lost all sense of what constitutes responsible journalism. Your article is basically a half page of free advertising for somebody whom the legal system and medical community have already freed from accountability. How could you possibly encourage this lunacy by printing his "song"???. I guess you'll be organizing an autograph session next.

    • Kent
      September 27, 2012 - 09:30

      The media's job is to report the facts.. Don't blame the messenger. Furthermore, what you are suggesting is a form of censorship. Fankly, I would like to know what happens in our courts and I'd prefer if people like yourself would not impose your sense of right / wrong on the rest of us. I don't like this rap apology either but I would prefer to hear it so i can make an informed judgment.

    • Jay
      September 27, 2012 - 10:16

      Kent, I don't think that separating the song and putting it in bold outside the article is merely "reporting the news." It smacks of sensationalism to me. Notwithstanding, I gave my opinion, and I'm entitleed to do so. It looks like you'd make a pretty good censor, yourself.

  • original townie
    September 27, 2012 - 08:08

    I guess we'll be "rappin" through the courts going forward. A new standard has been set by the criminal at the victim's expense. What has our justice system come to allowing this display in court? I've never enjoyed or written rap but if I did the first line would be " King's rap is a piece of crap"

  • Calvin
    September 27, 2012 - 08:07

    This story a day after the Telegram posts a survey asking if we feel safe, what a joke. Our justice system is a hoax, criminals are not afraid of it. We have criminals running around with "rap" sheets a mile long, and our lenient society acts all surprised when they commit yet another crime. Bring the 3 strike rule into affect and see if people are so quick to return to a life of petty crime when they could end up in jail for life. Kid says he drank 2 cases of beer before brutally beating someone, give me a break. If he drank 2 cases of beer that night he wouldnt be able to stand, let alone beat someone to this degree. Let him drink another 2 cases of beer and put him in a room with this kids dad or uncle and we'll see how tough he is then.

  • Too Funny
    September 27, 2012 - 08:06

    This guy's a joke. Beating up a boy and running away. Wow, that's some street cred. What a fool.

  • David
    September 27, 2012 - 08:05

    Since when do doctors get to decide what constitutes a charge? Stick to the sewing doc, and leave your legal opinion out of it. Yet, another case of the failed legal system. If it were my child who was beaten.....KING's days of rapping would be over.

  • Sherrieo
    September 27, 2012 - 07:55

    DISGUSTING..I am rotted that these legal aid lawyers would try and down play his actions..and allow such cold hearted foolishness in a court of law..That 16 year old boy didn't deserve to have his life so brutally changed by King's anger..Hit and run..and other charges...this guy is a danger to the public..He choose to drink..he choose to beat that boy..he wasn't so drunk that he couldn't get aboard a taxi and get on with his life..2-3 years is a minimum sentence in my book..sure that boy never died but his life will never be the same!! And to be so disrespectful as to Rap an Apology...He is only sorry he threw his own life away..sorry he got caught..sorry for himself..that song was all about him..nothing about the boy and his family..seriously!! The song was pathetic..if he really wants to make a life for himself time for him to do that is to CHANGE..hopefully prison will change him..for the better!! Maybe then he will realize how his apology was lame it was all about him...a man who in a few acts threw his life away...I wouldn't want to listen to a man rapping songs who so brutally hurts others..drunk or not!! If his music hits the streets..not sure any parent or child knowing his past would buy it..!! Either way..that song was a pity song..not apology..!!