NANAIMO — A man who attacked his elderly parents in a shocking stabbing at their Qualicum Beach home has been sentenced to three years in jail.
Stephen Rivington, 47, learned his sentence on Tuesday following a ruling from justice Brian Harvey, who called the November 2015 attack “sudden, unprovoked, senseless and vicious.”
Rivington plead guilty to a pair of aggravated assault charges after originally facing attempted murder charges.
The Crown acknowledged the unique nature of the case based on the full support offered by Rivington’s parents. Court heard they both sustained serious stab wounds from their son, who was heavily intoxicated at the time of the attack.
“It’s been very traumatic, absolutely,” Rivington’s mother Sandra Odendaal, 74, told NanaimoNewsNOW outside court. “But this has not ever been part of our life, we’ve never had this kind of violence. To dwell on it has never been part of my nature.”
Odendaal and her husband both voiced their frustration over a lack of support for their addicted son during the sentencing hearing. Odendaal said she and her husband will move forward positively and wouldn’t be putting their safety at risk by keeping their son in their life.
“He’s probably one of the (most) non-aggressive people you could probably meet,” she said.
In handing down his punishment, Justice Harvey noted he doesn’t believe the Court should give up on Rivington’s potential for rehabilitation. He said Rivington had no prior history of violence and is comforted that he’s been alcohol-free for the past 17 months. Harvey said Rivington’s remorse and decision to plead guilty were other mitigating factors in his sentence.
“It was no doubt a traumatizing incident for both Mr. and Mrs. Odendaal to be viciously assaulted in their own home. However, Mr. and Mrs. Odendaal are still very supportive toward their son and have had regular visits with him in custody over the last 17 months.”
Court heard Rivington’s mother was stabbed in the upper neck, partially severing her spinal cord. She explained in her victim impact statement she was temporarily paralyzed and required six weeks of hospitalization, followed by intensive outpatient therapy.
During his sentencing hearing on April 10, Rivington, a former pharmacist and father of two daughters, expressed remorse and vowed to do whatever possible to return to the community as a productive, healthy citizen.
Justice Harvey ruled the aggravated assault convictions carry three years in jail for each offence, however, those sentences will be served concurrently. Thanks to time served, Rivington will spend 319 days behind bars at the Nanaimo Correctional Centre (NCC), followed by two years of probation.
Rivington is slated to receive treatment for his alcohol addiction at the NCC and has been pre-screened to attend the Vancouver Island Therapeutic Community in Nanaimo during his probation, court heard.