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Prisoner sentenced for slashing face of fellow inmate in Abbotsford

Victim, who required 125 stitches, was also stomped on and kicked in the head
Leonidas Haire has been sentenced for slashing the face of a fellow inmate at Matsqui Institution in Abbotsford in 2019, as well as for assaulting another inmate. (Vikki Hopes/Abbotsford News)

A man who slashed the face of a fellow prisoner in Abbotsford in 2019 has been sentenced to another 17 months in jail.

In sentencing Leonidas Haire on Tuesday (May 14) in Abbotsford provincial court on charges of assault and aggravated assault, Judge David Silverman said the attack “borders on the sadistic.”

Haire, 30, was an inmate at Matsqui Institution – serving a four-year sentence for kidnapping – at the time of the incident on March 12, 2019.

Silverman said Haire and another prisoner, John Macinnis, approached another inmate and, without any warning, Macinnis “sucker punched” the man on the side of the head, causing him to fall to the ground.

Haire then repeatedly slashed the man’s face with a razor blade as Macinnis stomped on his torso and head, the judge said. Haire then twice kicked the inmate in the head.

The judge said he reviewed CCTV footage that was recorded of the incident.

“The use by Mr. Haire of a bladed weapon to strike repeated blows to the victim’s face as well as stomping on him as he laid either dazed or unconscious borders on the sadistic,” Silverman said.

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Haire and Macinnis then entered the cell of another inmate, but what occurred was neither filmed nor witnessed, the judge said.

But he said the inmate suffered “significant injuries,” likely from a stab wound to his face. Neither Haire nor Macinnis were charged in relation to that incident.

Silverman said corrections officers arrived on the scene in time to witness Haire and Macinnis punching and kicking a third victim, and they were arrested.

The first victim was taken to hospital, where he required 125 stitches to close the wounds on his face, Silverman said. He said the man also suffered memory loss and other symptoms consistent with a concussion.

The second victim spent several days in hospital, and the third man had cuts and bruises to his face, ribs and shoulder.

Haire and Macinnis were charged in relation to the assaults of the first and third men.

Macinnis pleaded guilty in June 2021 and received two years in jail. Haire pleaded guilty in February 2023.

No motive for the attacks was provided, Silverman said. However, he said a pre-sentence report on Haire indicated “he got involved with the wrong people at a young age.”

“He was looking for a way to bolster his image in jail as a means of protection. He would not disclose how he was able to secure a weapon while in custody … He states he feels remorseful but justifies his actions by stating he was administering street justice to ‘bad people’ he was living with at Matsqui (Institution),” Silverman said.

He said Haire’s criminal history includes convictions as a youth for robbery and discharging a firearm.

Haire was sentenced on the kidnapping charges in 2018, and later for assault with a weapon for which he received an additional 60 days in jail.

“This offence involved another assault with a bladed weapon on an inmate, which occurred on Oct. 23, 2019, roughly seven months following the assaults before me in this sentencing hearing,” Silverman said.

The judge on Tuesday sentenced Haire to two years for the assault in which he slashed the victim’s face and six months for the other assault, to be served concurrently.

Haire was given 215 days’ credit for time served in pre-sentence custody, leaving him with another one year and five months in prison.

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Vikki Hopes

About the Author: Vikki Hopes

I have been a journalist for almost 40 years, and have been at the Abbotsford News since 1991.
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