The man who stabbed Jeffrey Drysdale, 39, on December 15, 2021 on Larch street in downtown Sudbury has received a 10 year prison sentence.
Originally charged with second-degree murder, Patrick Johnson, pleaded not guilty and guilty to the lesser offence of manslaughter on Monday in Sudbury court.
Johnson, 26, who is from the Bahamas, was in Canada on an international student visa attending Cambrian College when the tragedy occurred.
Superior Court Justice Kathleen Cullin issued her ruling on Monday, accepting the plea based on evidence provided in support of Johnson’s position, which defence lawyer Glenn EJ Sandberg said was “considerably far away from the Crown’s position” of 14 years.
“We took the position that it was not outside that range,” Sandberg said.
Sandberg requested a range of eight to ten years.
There’s no good outcome, but this was the right outcome– Glen EJ Sandberg, defence lawyer
Johnson’s mother traveled from Nassau, Bahamas to talk about what Johnson was like as a child and addressed all the pro-social characteristics he possessed while living there.
Part of the evidence showed that Johnson worked with youth to try and deflect them from the prevalent life of gang activities that surrounded his family in the Bahamas.
According to Sandberg, the evidence showed a side of Johnson that contrasted with the tragic events of December 15th.
“That spoke well to the prospects for rehabilitation of what we call a youthful first offender.”
Sandberg said he is satisfied with the outcome.
“Considering all of the circumstances, as did the judge, both aggravating and mitigating. The range of eight to 10 was exactly the appropriate number.”
“There’s no good outcome, but this was the right outcome,” he said, addressing the impact the tragic event had on the lives of both the Johnson and Drysdale families.
Drysdale’s family also attended the sentencing on Monday.
Johnson apologized, expressing remorse and sorrow for the tragedy his actions had caused and the pain that was left with the family afterward, according to Sandberg.
As he was leaving court, Sandberg mentioned that he witnessed a “truly heartwarming moment” where he saw the two mothers (the mother of his client and the mother of the deceased) “embracing and consoling each other.”
The court heard that Johnson will be deported to his home country once he is eligible for release.