WINNIPEG - What will three cans of beer run you these days?
For a young Manitoba thug, the price is 18 months of his freedom.
For his victim, however, the true cost was being left permanently scarred for all to see.
The now 19-year-old pleaded guilty to robbery with a weapon Tuesday after admitting he smashed a pool ball into an innocent man's head after stealing his beer.
QMI Agency is not identifying him in order to publish details of his alarming youth record. His latest conviction marks his first as an adult.
The man was out in public on the community supervision portion of a prior youth sentence for a violent robbery at the time of the Nov. 25 attack.
The victim was walking home just before 10 p.m. with a 12-pack. He was 15 feet from the safety of a corner store when he was accosted from behind and pushed to the ground by three people. The beer went flying, leaving cans of Molson Black Ice strewn all over.
When the victim rolled over to see who pushed him, the 19-year-old clocked him in the forehead with a pool ball in a sock. It opened a large gash on his forehead.
Dazed, he then felt people rummaging through his pockets while being kicked in the back a few times.
Officers in a passing cruiser saw the bleeding victim and the attackers scrambling to gather the beer cans.
The 19-year-old was nabbed after a foot chase and found with three beers in his pockets.
"Yeah, I know what I did. But no judge can put me away for this, I'm golden," he told police, according to the Crown.
The victim was left with a permanent, visible scar on his forehead -- a "daily reminder" of the attack,
Justice Deborah McCawley was told.
Crown attorney Monique Cam urged McCawley to impose a two-year sentence, citing the man's record and increasing frequency of beer-muggings in downtown Winnipeg.
The man's defence lawyer, Rachel Smith, said the man's upbringing was "pretty bad" and involved him being tossed around from foster home to foster home.
McCawley agreed with Smith that 18 months of jail was more appropriate, despite expressing concerns about his "escalating" youth record and the degree of violence he displayed.