Probation for 'unprovoked' bottle attack inside downtown Kamloops nightclub

Bottle attack in nightclub

A man who levelled a violent and unprovoked attack inside a downtown Kamloops nightclub has been ordered to spend the next year on probation.

But Nathan Donald Johnson, 35, will not have a criminal record if he stays out of trouble for a year following his guilty plea Thursday in Kamloops provincial court to one count of assault with a weapon.

Court heard Johnson was at the Blue Grotto nightclub on Victoria Street just after 2 a.m. on April 22 when he smashed a beer bottle into the head of another patron.

“Out of nowhere, without any provocation, Mr. Johnson used the beer bottle to strike [the man] over the head, causing the beer bottle to break into multiple pieces,” Crown prosecutor Oliver Potestio said in court.

“This strike caused [the man] to suffer a large laceration and bump on his forehead and he started to bleed heavily.”

Potestio said Johnson was immediately grabbed by a bouncer and taken outside, where a passing RCMP vehicle was flagged down.

“Mr. Johnson was delivered into the hands of a police officer who arrested him for assault with a weapon,” he said.

“It’s fortunate that this strike did not result in any more of an egregious injury.”

In addition to the laceration and goose egg, the victim suffered a concussion and was treated at Royal Inland Hospital. He told police he was out $750 because all of his clothes were stained with blood.

Johnson, who has no previous criminal record, was drunk at the time of the attack. Defence lawyer Cameron Mathee-Johnson said his client has a “problematic relationship” with alcohol — something for which he is already attending counselling.

Potestio was looking for a sentence of 12 months probation, while Mathee-Johnson sought a conditional discharge — a period of probation after which an offender is left without a criminal record.

Provincial court Judge George Leven sided with the defence, handing Johnson a conditional discharge and 12 months of probation. While on probation, Johnson will be barred from visiting the Blue Grotto or having any contact with the victim.

He was also ordered to surrender a sample of his DNA to a national criminal database and to pay $750 in restitution, which will go to the victim.

More Kamloops News