2 yrs for attack on jail guard

A Vernon man was sentenced Wednesday to another two years in prison for a brutal unprovoked attack on a guard at the Okanagan Corrections Centre earlier this year.

Jeffery Polanski, 37, pleaded guilty earlier this month to assault causing bodily harm in relation to the February 13 incident that the BCGEU publicized at the time as a “violent and vicious assault.”

Completely unprovoked, Polanski sucker-punched a corrections officer that had his back turned to him — striking him another six times with a closed fist once he was on the ground.

The guard suffered 10 stitches, severe swelling, bruising and has recently been diagnosed with PTSD. He has not returned to work since the assault.

“The flashbacks and anxiety that he experiences on a daily basis have had a significant impact on his home life,” Kent Drover, assistant deputy warden of operations said during the sentencing hearing June 8.

The entirety of the attack was captured on surveillance camera. Judge Meg Shaw, however, dismissed an application by Castanet News Wednesday to publish the video, citing privacy concerns and the re-victimization of the guard.

The Crown sought a three year jail term, while the defence asked for two years.

After the assault Polanski was transferred to the Kamloops Correctional Centre, where he has been under 23 hour lockdown ever since.

“Having heard Mr. Polanski with his apology, I do not put significant weight on it,” Shaw said, noting the facts that he attacked the guard while his back was turned and on the job were stacked against him.

She noted he has two previous, albeit dated convictions for assault, one involving a police officer.

Polanski was in prison serving a 18 month sentence imposed just weeks before the attack for property crime. The two year jail term handed down by Shaw will be served after his existing time is up, and he will be transferred to a federal institution.

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