'Chronically angry,' 'Violent'

A Penticton courtroom heard conflicting details about alleged violent assailant Thomas Kruger-Allen on Friday, including his history of combative, uncontrollable, violent behaviour, as well as another portrayal of the young man as a hard worker trying to do better. 

Kruger-Allen, 21, was seated in the gallery for a sentencing hearing regarding his guilty plea in an assault charge connected to a beating outside The Mule nightclub in Penticton in August 2017.

The victim was attacked by a group of youth near the club, which has since closed, and suffered a shattered nose and orbital bone. Kruger-Allen acknowledged through his plea that he kicked the man while he was down, and left the scene. He was later found with the victim's blood on his shoe. 

Crown prosecutor Nashina Devji painted a picture of a troubled young man prone to rage and violence, especially when drinking alcohol, which he is known to frequently do. She spoke about his troubled childhood in a home prone to "chaos and violence," with parents in the throes of substance abuse. 

She quoted from a psychologist who had worked with Kruger-Allen and expressed concerns about an "intermittent explosive disorder."

"Mr. Kruger-Allen is chronically angry and has the high potential to express anger and hostility, through verbal means physical means or both, and he's likely to be impulsive, sensation-seeking and reckless, and have disregard for convention and authority," Devji told the judge, reading from the psychologist's findings. 

She also pointed to Kruger-Allen's various transgressions over the nearly two years he has been out on bail for this offence as evidence of his inability to control his impulses. 

"While being on bail for this offence, Mr. Kruger-Allen was charged with an aggravated assault, a sex assault and two additional assaults, was in custody for a period of time and then was released on bail," Devji said. "While he was in custody he had difficulty managing his behaviour. He sometimes engaged in physical altercations with other inmates and being disrespectful to corrections staff."

She added that Kruger-Allen's bail supervisor noted his tendency to go from "zero to 100" in anger, and that he has the potential to be incredibly dangerous in the community. His bail supervisor has not had any luck getting him into a residential treatment program due to the nature of his pending charges. 

Devji finished her statements by requesting that the judge give Kruger-Allen a sentence of six to eight months in jail followed by two years of probation with strict requirements. 

Kruger-Allen's lawyer Norman Yates had a different take. He was displeased with Devji's mention of other pending charges against his client, pointing out that the incident at The Mule was Kruger-Allen's first offence and sentencing should take that into consideration. 

"He is being sentenced for this issue and not for matters he may have been investigated for since," Yates told the judge. 

Yates also explained Kruger-Allen's troublesome behaviour while in custody in May and June of this year as provoked or defensive.

"The general population at the local remand facility seemed to be aware that one of the things he was charged with was sexual assault, and within that custodial community, the corrections community, there seems to be a code that anybody charged with sexual assault gets treated in an aggressive way," Yates said. 

He went on to describe Kruger-Allen as a young man who "wants desperately" to leave appearances in court behind him and move forward. He submitted four letters to the judge in support of Kruger-Allen's character from his grandmother, two neighbours and boss. 

Kruger-Allen's mother, who the court heard has been working on her relationship with her son despite a troubled past and an issue in March during which she called police on her son when he was in a destructive, alcohol-fueled rage, was also in attendance in support. 

Judge Andrew Tam decided to adjourn the sentencing in order to take more time to go over the case before passing his sentence. 

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