Nunavut man sentenced to 7 years for brutal attempted murder of youth

·2 min read

A Nunavut man has been sentenced to seven years in prison for a brutal attempted murder of a teenager in 2018.

Justice Christian Lyons sentenced Aamusie Qaqasiq on Oct. 28 after Qaqasiq pleaded guilty to landing 15 stab wounds to the upper body of the victim.

Lyons did not identify the Nunavut community or the name of the victim in order to protect the victim's identity.

Qaqasiq has been in custody and psychiatric facilities since his arrest.

He told psychiatrists that he didn't know why he committed the violent crime — "he didn't care about life that day," Lyon's sentencing decision said.

Qaqasiq said he picked his victim at random when he entered the local grocery store and attacked a young worker with a hunting knife.

Qaqasiq chased the victim down the aisle to continue stabbing him, the decision said.

While the victim suffered significant scarring and trauma, Lyons said the teen has since finished high school and became a teacher — "a testament to [the victim's] resilience, courage and strength."

The psychiatrist who spent the most time with Qaqasiq did not rule out schizophrenia but reported his bizarre behaviour as substance-induced psychotic disorder and malingering — when someone fakes mental health symptoms to achieve some end.

Lyons said it was unclear what drugs Qaqasiq was taking leading up to the attack but they could include a number of psychiatric prescription drugs, crack cocaine and an opiate.

In the last five years, psychiatrists treating Qaqasiq have given alternating diagnoses of schizophrenia and feigning symptoms, Lyons decision shows.

Qaqasiq was raised by his grandparents after the relationship with his mother, who struggles with alcoholism, ended when he was two, the court decision said.

Qaqsiq's father has a "long and violent criminal record," said Lyons.

After deducting time already spent in custody, Lyons said Qaqasiq still faces three years and three months in prison.

The victim and the victim's family were scared of seeing Qaqasiq back in the community after his sentence, Lyons' decision said.