'Unprovoked' attack earns Kersley man six months in jail

·2 min read

A Kersley man has been sentenced to six months in jail followed by 18 months probation for an attack prompted by a dispute over a woman that left another man with extensive facial injuries.

William Matthew Andersen, 58, was issued the term June 24 in Quesnel provincial court for a December 2019 incident at an apartment in Quesnel where a woman who was a mutual friend of the two had been living.

The victim, Kirk Watkins, and the woman had been dating and she was his love interest but, unbeknownst to Watkins, Andersen had been staying at her apartment for a few days.

On the day in question, Watkins showed up unannounced. The three had some drinks and watched a movie before Andersen went into the bedroom to nap and the woman fell asleep on the couch.

About an hour later, Andersen came back out and began to disrobe the woman. When Watkins protested, Andersen pushed Watkins to the ground and punched him repeatedly. Watkins suffered two black eyes, a swollen head, and cuts on his forehead and both eyes that required 13 stitches to close.

Counsel for Andersen had submitted the injuries Watkins suffered were the result of a consensual fight and claimed Andersen suffered a split lip. But Judge Judith Doulis found no clear evidence the blood shown in a photograph came from a laceration and described the attack as "unprovoked."

On sentencing, defence counsel had proposed that Andersen be sentenced to a conditional sentence order that would see him serve the term at his mother's home in Kersley, a small rural community about 25 kilometres south of Quesnel.

But Doulis noted a criminal record dating back to 1986 and amounting to 15 offences, three of which were crimes of violence and one of them a conviction for assault causing bodily harm for which he had been serving probation at the time of the most-recent incident.

Despite his record, Andersen has served only one actual day in jail, Doulis also noted.

And despite a link between alcohol abuse and his behaviour, Doulis found Andersen has done little if anything to address the problem.

"His conduct, character and attitude is not that of an offender well along the path to rehabilitation," Doulis said in a reasons for decision on sentencing.

Since Andersen had not spent any time in custody prior to sentencing, he will serve the full term.

Mark Nielsen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Prince George Citizen

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting