Libyan refugee given probation for stabbing; judge cites trauma of growing up in war zone
Libyan refugee given probation for stabbing; judge cites trauma of growing up in war zone

A British Columbia court sentenced a 24-year-old refugee to probation and a suspended sentence on Wednesday over a violent stabbing incident in Vancouver last November.

Mohamed Abdalla Mohamed Elbahloul pleaded guilty to assault in connection with the stabbing and slashing of one man, and a minor charge related to the assault of another. 

The incident occurred Nov. 6, 2021 in downtown Vancouver after a night of drinking.

According to court documents, Elbahloul became intoxicated during a night out with friends. An altercation erupted inside a club, spilling out onto the street. 

Elbahloul was provided with a knife by one of his companions and used it to stab the victim’s stomach and then proceeded to also cut his legs. The victim required medical attention as a result of the fight.

Elbahloul also admitted to kicking another victim who was on the ground during the altercation.

Judge Kathryn Denhoff acknowledged the seriousness of the crimes but noted that neither victim provided an impact statement.  

She also considered what she called the challenging circumstances of Elbahloul’s background. 

Displaced by war in his home country of Libya at a young age, Elbahloul experienced significant violence and loss, Denhoff argued in her decision.

Denhoff highlighted Elbahloul’s efforts at rehabilitation since the incident. He has relocated to Victoria, secured stable employment, and reduced his alcohol consumption. 

Additionally, he is enrolled in English language courses and aspires to attend business school.

The judge acknowledged Elbahloul’s remorse for his actions, while also mentioning how he has jeopardized his ability to remain in Canada. 

Elbahloul’s status as a refugee could be revoked and deportation remains a possibility.

Recently, a Pakistani national narrowly avoided deportation due to a last-minute intervention by the Liberal government, despite participating in infrastructure blockades alongside climate extremist groups.

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