Just before he was sentenced Tuesday to 10 years in prison for the attempted murder of a Victoria police officer, Guy Hervé Séguin said his intent was not to kill.
Justice Keith Bracken ruled that the 59-year-old homeless man must serve eight-and-a-half more years in jail. Séguin was credited with 18 months for time served since he was arrested Jan. 17, 2011 – the day he stabbed Const. Lane Douglas Hunt in downtown Victoria.
The officer, then 24, was attacked as she was leaving a 7-Eleven convenience store at 816 Douglas St. She blocked Séguin’s blows, but not before suffering two superficial puncture wounds to her neck and deep cuts to her hands.
“The victory here is not in the conviction or in the sentence or the length of the sentence,” Insp. Andrew Lacon, representing the Victoria Police Department, said following the sentencing hearing in B.C. Supreme Court. Douglas Hunt did not attend the proceedings.
“The victory here happened Day 1 when Const. Hunt was attacked by Mr. Séguin, and through her own strength and courage, fought off that attack, which could have been far more serious.”
Speaking publicly for the first time, Séguin said he only wanted to bring attention to beatings he received from Victoria police and a provincial sheriff in 2009, that never resulted in criminal charges.
“No one lifted a finger to protect me,” he said, wearing the same baggy, navy blue sweater and white dress shirt he wore at his trial in March. “When I did this incident, she was protected.”
It was never his intention to kill the officer, he said. “What I did there was a cry for help.
“Again, I apologized for hurting her. I was put at the end of my rope.”
Crown prosecutor Steve Fudge said outside the courthouse later that Séguin has shown compassion for the officer’s well-being. “But, having said that, he also said ‘the badge must die,’ and I think that’s an attitude he still has.
“(Séguin) clearly has a chip on his shoulder. Part of my (hearing) submissions were that there’s substantial risk he might attack another police officer when he gets out of custody, because I don’t think that chip is going to go away.”
Douglas Hunt’s mother, Mary, who attended the sentencing, said Séguin’s apology was superficial because “he stood there in the prisoner’s box and it was all about him. Poor me, and that is not sincerely remorseful when you just talk about yourself.
In lobbying for a 10- to 12-year sentence, Fudge told the court that despite making a remarkable recovery, Douglas Hunt experiences nightmares, hyperawareness and concerns about her family in the aftermath of her attack – effects “that may never go away.”
Defence lawyer Jordan Watt, who asked for an eight-year sentence, painted the life of his client as “average, productive and very normal” until 1998, when Séguin became unable to work after an injury.
“Things started to collapse” with the death of his wife in 2004. He lost his home and became estranged from his two grown sons.
He moved from Ontario to the Island, where he once worked, but was soon living in homeless shelters.
When Séguin attacked Douglas Hunt, he was fuelled by fear of the police and “acted on impulse,” Watt said.
Séguin has been ordered to provide a DNA sample and faces a lifetime ban from possessing firearms.