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B.C. man gets year in jail for hate-motivated assault with a knife

Mckenzie approached a man in Vancouver, held a knife to his stomach and uttered a racial slur
Vancouver Provincial Court
Vancouver Provincial Courthouse

A man convicted in the hate-motivated assault with a weapon has been sentenced to a year in jail and another on probation.

Shane Arin Mckenzie was convicted Aug. 18 of assault with a weapon but sentencing Judge Gregory Rideout found hate-motivation was a factor in the assault and increased the sentence as permitted by the Criminal Code of Canada.

The Vancouver Police Department said the 48-year-old victim was waiting for a friend outside an apartment building near West Hastings and Homer streets on May 12, 2022.

Mckenzie approached the man — who police describe as 48-year-old immigrant originally from Africa — told him he didn’t belong in the area and then held a knife to his stomach. 

He then used a racial slur to address the victim while walking away, police said.

“Based on the evidence presented at trial, the judge concluded that the only motive for this assault was the colour of the victim’s skin,” VPD spokesperson Const. Tania Visintin said.

Police were called and Mckenzie was arrested nearby.

“We hope this sort of outcome sends a message to the public that the police and courts will not tolerate any incident that is motivated by hate, bias or prejudice,” VPD spokesperson Const. Visintin said.

“VPD’s hate crime detectives worked closely with the Black community and Crown to convey to the judge that cases like this don’t only negatively impact the victim, but also members of the entire community,” Visintin. 

Court documents said the sentence is to be served at a provincial facility with counselling with an Indigenous focus, including programs to address substance abuse.

Other charges

In a series of unrelated charges, Mckenzie was also sentenced to one day jail with 30 days credit for time in custody after pleading guilty to possession of stolen property, cash and credit cards in connection with an April 20 offence in Port Coquitlam.

Further, he pleaded guilty to being in possession of stolen property, a cheque and keys connection with a July 17 offence, again in Port Coquitlam.

He also pleaded guilty to failing to comply with a release order for the same date. On each count received one day in jail with credit for 10 days served.

Mckenzie pleaded guilty to mischief in a case where he was charged with breaking and entering at a Port Coquitlam construction site Dec. 9, 2022. He received one day in jail.