Man gets equivalent of 10 years for 'despicable' assault on infant

Credits: Calgary Sun/QMI Agency


CALGARY - Calling the abuse "despicable, depraved and disgusting" a Calgary judge on Monday handed a man the equivalent of a 10-year sentenced for assaulting an baby boy.

But because Dale Kunath was on segregation while in remand, Chief Justice Neil Wittmann gave him "enhanced" pre-trial custody credit, bringing his remaining term to eight years and three months.

The term was satisfying for the victim's mother, although she would prefer Kunath never see the light of day again.

"I believe he is a monster and he should never, ever get out of jail," said the woman, who can't be named to protect her son's identity.

But she takes some solace in the fact Kunath will be a serving prisoner for the better part of the next decade.

"I now have eight years and three months to continue on with my life and his life is stuck."

Wittmann described Kunath's victim as being the most vulnerable in society, a six-week-old infant incapable of fending for himself.

"I find ... the gravity of the offences to be exceedingly serious," he said, in a written ruling from which he read excepts in court.

"There was a calculated intent to inflict pain," the Court of Queen's Bench judge said.

"The physical acts are despicable, depraved and disgusting."

Kunath earlier pleaded guilty to two charges of aggravated assault in connection to injuries to the baby's anus, penis and feet.

The child was taken to hospital June 21, 2010 suffering a still-bleeding laceration to his penis.

Doctors determined the baby had additional healing wounds to his feet and anus.

The feet had evidence of multiple blisters and scabbing and the child had been penetrated by an object which caused lacerations.

Crown prosecutor Jayme Williams had suggested a sentence in the range of 14 to 16 years.

But Wittmann said in considering that the total punishment could not be overly harsh, a lesser term was warranted.

He said the two charges of aggravated assault Kunath admitted too -- the June 21, 2010 injury to the child's penis and the separate earlier injuries would each warrant a six-year sentence.

But he said a total term of even 12 years would be excessive.

Child abuse Det. Lionel Busch said the injuries were "incredibly disturbing" and said short of a shaken baby case he couldn't think of a worse attack on an infant.

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