A man who pleaded guilty to stabbing a man in the neck and attacking a woman with a bat two years ago is about to learn his fate.
Anthony Rouskov Nielsen, 22, was charged with two counts of aggravated assault and two counts of assault with a weapon after a Dec. 18, 2021, incident in which a couple in their 60s were attacked in their Nanaimo home and sustained numerous near-fatal injuries. He was arrested and placed in custody shortly after the incident.
Sentencing began Thursday, Dec. 7, in provincial court in Nanaimo in front of judge Tamara Hodge. Jill Vivian, Crown counsel, sought a federal sentence of seven years per charge to be served concurrently, while Roberto Alberto, Nielsen’s legal representative, sought 36 months in jail for each count to be served concurrently.
According to an agreed statement of facts, Nielsen, a friend of the couple, had been staying with them at their home, but said he moved out due to his methamphetamine use. The night of the offence, the woman heard a bump and after climbing a staircase to the kitchen, was attacked by Nielsen, who stabbed the woman repeatedly with a knife and hit her with a bat while she was on the floor.
The woman grabbed the bat and attempted to hit back at her attacker, who was said to look “zoned out,” according to Crown counsel. The man, who has mobility issues, intervened, but was pushed down the stairs into the basement and was stabbed, as well.
While first aid was being performed, the man had trouble breathing and was transferred via air ambulance to a hospital in Victoria where he underwent surgery and was in critical care. He was found to have a laceration in his larynx, as well as cuts to his scalp and neck.
The woman was transferred to Nanaimo Regional General Hospital. Her numerous injuries included stab wounds to the back, lower left arm and neck. In addition, she suffered a hemorrhage between her brain and the surrounding membrane and suffered paralysis to the left side of her face.
Nielsen, who is of Indigenous ancestry, experienced delusional beliefs about the victims and was suffering from drug-induced psychosis after using crystal methamphetamine at the time of the offences, Crown counsel stated. He had no previous criminal record, but is a high risk to re-offend, Crown counsel said.
After police left the room while he was being questioned, Nielsen was heard muttering to himself and swearing, talking about a demon “being here now,” throwing the blade in a stream (a knife was never recovered), and how he should have stabbed the man in the chest.
Nielsen pleaded guilty on May 29. Reading a statement in court, he said he has been sober for two years and asked for forgiveness for the pain he inflicted on the victims.
The judge reserved her decision, stating there was a lot of information to consider. A sentencing date is expected to be established on Tuesday, Dec. 12.