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Ray Stacey jailed for attack on wife, carjacking

Ray Stacey, wearing a police-issued jumpsuit, sits in the dock in provincial courtroom No. 7 in St. John’s Monday morning. He was arrested Saturday and charged with 13 offences, including the attempted murder of a woman. He will remain in jail until his next court appearance on May 16.
Ray Stacey. - Telegram file photo

Ray Stacey has been sentenced to 3 ½ years in prison for an attack on his wife and the carjacking of two vehicles last May.

With almost 300 days' credit given for the time he has spent in custody, Stacecy, 27, has two years and three months left to serve.

Stacey's lawyer, Karen Rehnor, had argued for a sentence of two years for her client, while Crown prosecutor Mike Murray had argued that a sentence of between six and seven years was more appropriate.

Justice Donald Burrage handed down his decision in Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court in St. John's Thursday morning.

Stacey had originally been charged with attempting to murder his wife, but that charge was dismissed following a preliminary inquiry last December.

He pleaded guilty to assaulting the woman, assaulting her again with a weapon, robbery, theft of a motor vehicle and breaching court orders, making a deal with the Crown for the withdrawal of other charges.

Stacey's wife, from whom he had been living apart at the time, had informed Stacey that she was coming to his place to pick up some items for their baby, and upon arrival found him under the influence of drugs.

The pair argued, and Stacey took a knife from a kitchen drawer and told his wife to go into the bedroom. He said he was going to kill her.

In the bedroom, the woman grabbed a baseball bat that was on the bed and swung it at Stacey, hitting him in the temple. While struggling for the bat, Stacey kicked the woman in the chest.

Stacey tried to drag the woman — pulling off her pants — back inside when she attempted twice to leave the home. Wearing underwear and a tank top, she ran to a neighbour's home and called police.

In the meantime, Stacey — who was wearing jeans but no shirt or shoes — went into a nearby Coffee Matters cafe and told staff his girlfriend had hit him with a bat. Though he said he was already on the phone with police, staff reported hearing him call the person on the other end of the phone "Mom," and called 911.

Stacey then ran to a Lawton's drugstore parking lot, where a woman was sitting in her running vehicle and waiting for her mother, who had just gone inside.

She said Stacey opened the door, told her, "I need this," and jumped into the driver's seat. He put the car in drive, drove over a curb and struck a pole before getting out and running.

Another woman was in her vehicle in the nearby Dairy Queen parking lot, and said she saw Stacey running toward her, telling her, "Help me, I'm being raped." He opened the car door and got in, trying to climb over the console to get into the driver's seat as the woman got out. Upon hearing police sirens, the man ran, the woman said.

Police arrested Stacey next to a gas station not far away.

"I was under the influence of drugs. I take full responsibility for my actions," Stacey told the court at his sentencing hearing earlier this month, saying he wanted to do "all the programs I can" in order to turn his life around.

Three years ago, Stacey was acquitted by a jury of the stabbing death of his coworker, 41-year-old Clifford Comerford.

Members of Comerford's family were in the courtroom Thursday, as they have been during a number of Stacey's court appearances on the latest charges.

As Stacey was leaving the room, he looked toward Comerford's brother and said, "Dirtbag."

"Am I? You're the dirtbag," Comerford's brother replied. "Have fun."

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