The Crown is asking for a three-year prison sentence for a young man who attacked a bus driver and a passenger in incidents in Surrey and Aldergrove.
Steven Fayant, 20, pleaded guilty in October to assault and aggravated assault. A sentencing hearing was held Thursday in B.C. Provincial Court in Surrey. On Feb. 18 Fayant got on a bus at 78th Avenue and King George Boulevard in Surrey around 9:30 a.m.
He didn’t pay the fare, telling the driver that he was “hurting right now, thanks.” When the bus stopped later, Fayant lunged at the driver and grabbed his throat, pinning him to his seat for a few moments, then got off the bus and ran away. Three days later, Fayant boarded another bus without paying the fare and ended up behind Thomas Murphy, who was on the bus with his brother.
When the bus made its final stop in Aldergrove, the two men got off, with Fayant close behind. Near the back bumper of the bus, Fayant, with no provocation or warning, stabbed Murphy in the back and fled. Murphy suffered a lacerated kidney and was taken to hospital.
Both incidents were caught on high-quality surveillance video.
In her sentencing submissions, Crown prosecutor Angela Lee said such assaults would concern the public – particularly those who use transit. Fayant has been in custody since his arrest, and spent time at the Forensic Psychiatric Institute in Port Coquitlam. He was evaluated, and although he suffers from no serious mental disorder, he may have been suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and a drug-induced psychosis at the time of his crimes.
Fayant struggles with drug and alcohol abuse and was the victim of a brutal assault two years ago.
Defence lawyer David Payn said his client has a limited criminal history.
He asked that Fayant be credited with 12 months of pretrial custody and serve an additional two months for a total of 14 months, followed by a period of supervision. An impact statement from Coast Mountain Bus Company urged the court to impose a ban on Fayant using public transit. Peter Arkell, assault and work safe prevention specialist for Coast Mountain, said: “If an operator is assaulted while they’re in the course of doing their job, it presents huge risks.”
Sentencing is scheduled for January.
- Jennifer Saltman is a reporter with the Vancouver Province