© Kirk Starratt
Sheriffs lead Paul Eldon Lake into custody after being sentenced on attempted murder and aggravated assault charges March 18.
KENTVILLE - A man sat quietly in Supreme Court as he was handed a 10-year federal sentence for attempted murder and two counts of aggravated assault.
Paul Eldon Lake, 55, pleaded guilty to the charges in January and the matters were adjourned to March 18 for sentencing.
Judge Patrick Duncan sentenced Lake to a total of 10 years on the three charges, less 935 days credit for time spent remanded in custody. The court imposed a lifetime firearm prohibition against Lake, granted a forfeiture order for weapons, and granted a DNA order. Lake was ordered to have no contact with the three victims.
The remaining charges against Lake, two more counts of attempted murder, another charge of aggravated assault, and two counts of carrying a weapon for a purpose dangerous to the public peace, were dismissed.
The court heard from defence lawyer Brian Smith that Lake hopes to seek counselling while incarcerated to try to gain an understanding of what happened the night in question. He also hopes to take advantage of vocational skills programs. After his release, Lake plans to reside with a son in British Columbia.
“All anyone can hope for is that you’ll fulfill the promise you’ve made to yourself and the rest of society,” Duncan told Lake after handing down the sentence.
Nathaniel Theriault, one of the stabbing victims, provided a victim impact statement to the court. The incident affected him physically, emotionally, and psychologically.
He hasn’t regained full use of his arms, has difficulty dealing with the stress of everyday life, and suffers from bad visions and dreams. He said he feels as though he’s been through a war.
“I have survived but I don’t think the trauma will ever leave,” Theriault wrote.
Outside the court, Crown Daniel Rideout said the sentence was a joint recommendation of the Crown and defence and it was “entirely appropriate given the circumstances of the case.”
“Every case is on it’s own facts and has its own background,” Rideout said. “This is one that had been the subject of a lot of discussion between Crown and defence and we had known for some time that that’s what we were going to be requesting.”
The first two attacks
The court heard that Lake had been drinking and using drugs the day of the attacks. In summarizing a nine-page agreed statement of facts, Rideout said two of the victims, Theriault and Timothy Lake - not a relative of the defendant – were walking to Timothy Lake’s residence shortly after midnight June 20, 2014.
They had just left another residence, where the third victim, Sherry Renouf, had been with them. Renouf had recently ended a domestic relationship with the defendant.
The two men were walking on Main Street, Kentville, when they saw the defendant emerge from the woods. Timothy Lake knew the defendant and they had a conversation. As the two men turned to walk up Highland Avenue, the defendant asked if he could come with them to Timothy Lake’s residence. Timothy Lake agreed.
Suddenly and without provocation, the defendant attacked Lake with a bladed weapon, apparently a box cutter. Lake was cut from the neck to right shoulder.
Theriault ran to assist, punching the defendant in the face, but was knocked to the ground and slashed across the neck twice by the defendant. The defendant fled on foot and the two victims made their way back towards Main Street to seek assistance. Two separate individuals called 911 to report the stabbings. Paramedics attended and provided medical attention.
After hearing from dispatch that the defendant was spotted running behind the Bell Aliant building on Main Street, Const. Kevin Andrews of the Kentville Police made a patrol and spotted a man who matched a description provided - the defendant - running through the Kings Arms Pub parking lot.
Andrews pulled the police cruiser in front of the defendant, who fell over the front hood but kept running for the woods. There was a physical altercation and both rolled on the ground. Andrews disengaged and attempted to deploy his Taser but the defendant escaped into the darkness of the woods.
Third victim attacked
Soon thereafter, another 911 call reported two men fighting outside a Main Street residence with one threatening to slit the other’s throat. A further 911 call reported a female, later identified as Renouf, had showed up at her residence and was stabbed in two places.
Renouf had been alone in the residence at the time when the defendant entered uninvited and attacked Renouf with what appeared to her to be a yellow box cutter. Renouf was slashed in the neck area, stabbed in the arm and cut on the chest.
Two other men arrived back at the residence and pursued the defendant into a nearby wooded area.
Defendant located, arrested
An RCMP K9 unit tracked the defendant through a wooded area to his residence. Police breached the door but Lake wasn’t there. Kentville police later returned and observed the defendant inside through a window. Police entered the residence when it appeared Lake was at risk of personal injury.
Police entered and found Lake on his back on the bed. He was covered in blood, including his neck and hands. There were several deep lacerations on his left forearm, right forearm and neck. Pressure was applied to the injuries until paramedics could attend. The defendant was taken to hospital and treated.
A search of the defendant’s home revealed that he had written a note that was left on the kitchen table.
It read, “The only person I ever loved I hurt. I deserve to check out. I’m done on this planet. I’ve learned to hate myself. My time here is done. What about Zeus (the defendant’s dog). Don’t wanna leave him. F__k.”