A 24-year-old man who stabbed his 64-year-old father in Kelowna in 2020 and pleaded guilty to aggravated assault, has been sentenced to four years in prison.
With credit for time already served in pre-trial custody, Dylan Jack Hipkin, who is currently being held at the provincial forensic psychiatric hospital in Coquitlam, will serve an additional eight months in custody. After that, he will be released on a strict three-year probation order, said judge David Ruse in passing sentence Tuesday in Kelowna.
The probation order includes prohibiting Hipkin from possessing weapons, including firearms and knives, possessing or taking drugs, drinking alcohol and contacting his father at his father’s home or place of worship. If Hipkin’s father, who was hospitalized for months after the stabbing and underwent several surgeries, agrees to see his son, it has to be somewhere public with others around.
Hipkin must also give a DNA sample and must take his medications for a host of illnesses and disorders, including schizophrenia, Tourette Syndrome and several mental and addiction disorders.
Last week, when the Crown asked for the four-year sentence and the defence agreed, Hipkin told the court he wanted to spend the rest of his life at the secure hospital in Coquitlam because it was one of only two places where he has ever felt safe. The other was his childhood home in Alberta.
But Ruse noted that was not possible and expressed concern about where Hipkin will live after he serves out the rest of the custodial term of his sentence.
In sentencing him, Ruse told Hipkin he must register with the Kelowna integrated court before his release and its officials, along with his probation officer, will deal with finding him a place to live, make sure he is taking medications and monitor he is abiding by the conditions of the probation order.
The integrated court aims to divert chronic offenders from the criminal justice system by breaking the cycle of offending. Integrated courts seek to address the underlying problems that lead to individuals being repeatedly arrested, such as addiction, mental health issues and homelessness, and to assist them in overcoming these challenges.
Ruse called the four-year sentence “appropriate” in this case and noted it is at the higher end of the scale for aggravated assault sentences.
In 2019, Hipkin was found guilty of starting a fire in the social housing apartment where he was living, a fire that caused $90,000 worth of damage and put the residents of 30 other units in the building at risk. He pleaded guilty to starting that fire and was sentenced to two years less a day and given a strict two-year probation order to follow the custody term. That probation order was in effect when he stabbed his father, with whom he was living at the time.
As was the case last week, Hipkin attended court via video link from the forensic psychiatric hospital. He did not speak Tuesday.
Following the sentencing, outside the court, Hipkin’s mother Cary said she is concerned her son will not get the support he needs after he is released from custody and worries he may be sent to live in a shelter.
“If he just gets dropped off at a shelter like last time, there is no hope for him,” she said.
Having become an advocate for both her son and for better services for those with mental health and addiction issues, Cary Hipkin said she feels the court does not understand the depth of the problems with her son.
“He’s not mentally stable enough to take his meds. So time will tell,” she said. “It’s like they expect people to be normal, but they’re not.”
In sentencing Hipkin, Ruse noted he told doctors examining him he had no intention of stopping taking drugs once he is released from custody and would go to Kamloops, live on the street and keep taking crystal meth.