Jason King deliberately cut his ex-girlfriend’s face and wrist so badly she required three surgeries, and the Crown wants him behind bars for six or seven years as a result.
At King’s sentencing hearing in Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court in St. John’s Wednesday, prosecutor Erin Matthews called the attack “vicious, violent and cruel” and noted King has a history of domestic violence.
“Both Mr. King and people who think like Mr. King must be deterred from these acts in the future,” Matthews told Justice Donald Burrage.
King, 48, has been in custody since his arrest on March 29, 2016. According to an agreed statement of facts, he and the woman had been together at his home the prior evening, despite a court order banning them from contact. They argued over something King saw on the woman’s cellphone and when she went to leave, he took the phone and it fell on the floor. It smashed and King said he would pay for it if she didn’t go to police.
Later that evening, after King had driven the woman home, she called him to confirm he would pay for the phone. He said he would, but later changed his mind, calling her back and telling her he wouldn’t pay for the phone after all, and never wanted to hear from her again.
The next morning, the woman visited King at work at the Bay Roberts Dollarama, where he was stocking shelves. She asked him again if he was going to pay for the phone, and after he said no, said, “Very good, then,” and turned to walk away. King threw the woman to the floor and began slashing her face with a box-cutter.
King told police officers he had been trying to disfigure the woman, since she put a lot of value in her appearance.
King pleaded guilty earlier this month to aggravated assault and breach of probation.
The woman filed a victim impact statement, saying she has scars from the attack, which left her with lacerations to both cheeks, a finger and a wrist. She needed three surgeries to repair nerve damage and still has movement issues in her hand, despite physiotherapy. She also suffers emotionally, she said, fearful of bumping into him.
King has four previous convictions of assaulting women: one against the same girlfriend, two against a previous girlfriend and one against a female family member.
“The act of cutting her face wasn’t just horrible and violent, it was cruel and deliberate,” Matthews told the judge. “This wasn’t a situation where Mr. King was blindly slashing. This was a situation where Mr. King had the intent to disfigure her. He didn’t simply slash once, he did so a number of times, only stopping when members of the public intervened.”
King’s lawyer, Shelley Senior, suggested a jail term of four-and-a-half years, minus the 977 days enhanced credit he has already served.
Senior said King had contacted police three times throughout his relationship with the woman to try to get her to stay away from him, and when she wouldn’t leave him alone, he reached a breaking point. Senior suggested the attack at Dollarama wouldn’t have happened if the woman hadn’t visited him at work and confronted him.
King — who has been very vocal during court proceedings leading up to the sentencing hearing, speaking out of turn — addressed the court, saying he regretted attacking the woman. He also apologized to her, as well as to Dollarama employees and customers.
Burrage will bring down his sentencing Feb. 19.