A Victoria man who was almost beaten to death with a metal baseball bat after breaking into a Gorge Road apartment in December 2012 has been sentenced to five years in prison.
Justin Lee Bradley pleaded guilty to break and enter and robbery in connection with the Dec. 17, 2012, home invasion that left him with a skull fracture, a serious stutter and unable to walk for eight months.
“I’ve been losing for quite a while now,” said Bradley, struggling to get the words out. “I apologize to the people and to the court. I’d like to deal with it and get on with my life.”
Bradley was in a group of three men who broke down the door of an apartment on Gorge Road East at 6 a.m., while a couple was sleeping in bed, prosecutor Jess Patterson told the court.
The man who lived in the apartment woke up and saw three masked men standing in the doorway to his bedroom. The men struck him and told him to keep his head down. One of his assailants asked for his wallet.
When the man handed his wallet over, his assailant asked: “Where’s the rest of the money?”
As this was going on, his girlfriend got out of bed, grabbed a metal baseball bat and struck Bradley on the head. One of the masked men dispersed pepper spray and a fight broke out.
The male resident grabbed the baseball bat from his girlfriend and began hitting Bradley. The two other men escaped out a window.
During a preliminary inquiry, the girlfriend testified that she yelled at her boyfriend to stop beating Bradley. “She said, ‘You’re going to kill him,’ ” defence lawyer Michael Munro recounted.
Bradley managed to make his way into the bathroom, where he remained until police arrived. He was taken to Victoria General Hospital and found to have a serious skull fracture.
Bradley developed a serious stutter, has constant headaches and has no sense of smell. He spent a significant time in the hospital and couldn’t walk for eight months. He has no recollection of the events leading to the offence.
“He’s now learning disabled,” Munro said.
The boyfriend basically thumbed his nose at the Crown and had no interest in pursuing any complaint or in the proceedings, Munro said.
During the hearing, there was no mention by the Crown or defence that charges were ever contemplated against the man or his girlfriend for the injuries inflicted on Bradley.
Justice Robert Johnson accepted the lawyers’ joint submission for the five-year sentence.
“The facts warrant a significant penitentiary term,” he said.
The sentence will run concurrently with a five-year prison sentence Bradley received in January 2013 for drug trafficking. This will add a 13-month sentence to the one he is currently serving.
Johnston imposed a lifetime weapons prohibition and ordered Bradley to give a sample of his DNA.
The judge noted that Bradley has a deplorable criminal record with previous convictions that include break and enter, assault, robbery and multiple drug convictions. At 41, he has spent most of his adult life — 23 years — in prison.