Sword-wielding attacker gets six months in jail

By Sue Yanagisawa
Local News - Monday, October 25, 2004 @ 07:00

A 20-year-old Kingston man who claims to have been avenging a woman in November, 2003 when he lured another man to meet him and then attacked him with a miniature replica sword, has been sentenced to six months in jail, followed by two years on probation.

Tyler Ripley told Justice Judith Beaman, “I’d like to say that I apologize for my actions and I’m here today to take full responsibility for my actions.”

But his lawyer, Mike Woogh, tried to convince the judge that Ripley should be assisted in addressing his problems out of custody. His client has mental health problems and was diagnosed by one psychiatrist as having a borderline personality.

Woogh told the court that his client doesn’t do easy time. He said he suspects Ripley gets picked on and advised the judge that his client has told him he’d rather die than go to jail.

Assistant Crown attorney Gerard Laarhuis urged that jail is exactly what’s called for. He noted that Ripley has a history of not following through with treatment programs and breaching probation.

“This is vigilante justice,” he reminded the court.

Reviewing the facts of the case, Laarhuis reminded Beaman that Ripley called his friend on the phone and asked to meet, before arming himself with the miniature sword.

Laarhuis said the victim later recounted how, as he and Ripley walked up a hill, Ripley suddenly turned on him, kicked him in the face and accused him of raping a woman they both know.

He then quickly produced the sword replica – which Woogh claims was only eight to 10 inches long – and set upon his friend, attempting to slash and stab at him repeatedly.

The man received three superficial scrapes to his arm in the struggle and one cut to his forehead severe enough that the doctor who treated him predicted that it will leave a permanent scar.

When Ripley’s fury was spent and the attack ended, Laarhuis noted that Ripley didn’t feel remorse over what he’d done. Instead, he threatened his victim that if he told anyone, he’d stab him through the heart and come after him with friends.

“He’s 20 years old,” Laarhuis said. “He’s not a child. He’s never taken any steps [to deal with his psychiatric problem] and his conduct is escalating.”

Woogh pointed out that the victim’s injuries consisted of three superficial abrasions to his right forearm and a cut to his forehead. He also noted that the weapon’s blade broke off early in the attack and the worst of the victim’s injuries were actually inflicted by the handle that remained in Ripley’s hand.

The defence lawyer said Ripley acted under the provocation of his woman friend’s claim that the victim had sexually assaulted her and told the judge he has “an underlying mental problem that’s never been addressed.”

“It seems that there aren’t too many positive things that are being said about you right now,” observed Justice Beaman, after reading Ripley’s pre-sentence report.

She told Ripley that she has to look at a number of factors in sentencing them, including any indication of empathy with his victim.

“These aren’t the most serious injuries in the world,” she said, “but they aren’t minor.”

She told him it was indicative of his lack of remorse that he’d suggested to the writer of his pre-sentence report that the victim had actually done something to aggravate his own injuries to make them worse.

“I’m very concerned that you pose a danger to society in your current position,” she told him.

She said she can only hope his sentence “will act as a deterrent to others and protect the community while you’re in jail.”



Commentary by the Ottawa Mens Centre

This article appears to be accurately reported and it raises some serious concerns as to whether or not

Tyler Ripley ever did get the help that he was recommended to obtain and as to why he did not get

that help prior to sentencing.

This article fails to mention as to whether or not

the witnesses for the sentencing hearing were cross examined.

Ripley through his lawyer Mike Woogh,  claimed the defence of provocation, which in reality is an example of delusional thinking

that Ripley can justify an assault on his decision to take vigilante justice.

The reality is borderline personalities historically have a very low probability of responding to treatment.

It remains to be seen as to whether or not Ripley gained any insight from his  subsequent few months in custody.