KAMLOOPS, B.C. - A foreign university in B.C. has been ordered to pay $1,000 in fines for striking a man with a baseball bat and $10,000 for the dental work of his next victim who was punched so hard that his teeth were knocked out.
Kudzai Mujuru, a Zimbabwe national studying at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, pleaded guilty to assault charges in connection with the bat incident in November 2012, and the punching incident in April 2013.
“In many ways, you’re a guest in this country,” provincial court Judge Len Marchand said in his ruling. “It’s important to respect the laws we have. Violence is not something we condone in Canada.”
Crown lawyer Neil Flanagan said that, at first glance, the penalties may seem lenient. But he noted the $10,000 restitution order and the fact that Mujuru pleaded guilty instead of opting for what would have been a lengthy set of trials.
In addition to the fine and restitution order, Mujuru must serve a one-year probation order and is prohibited from attending bars and nightclubs.
Flanagan said the impetus for the first attack on Nov. 3, 2012, may have been to help a woman who appeared in distress, but it moved into the realm of vigilante justice and over-reaction.
Mujuru was behind a downtown nightclub with his girlfriend when they heard a woman cry out.
A man and woman “appeared to be engaged in a sexual act,” Flanagan said.
When Mujuru and his girlfriend approached, the man and woman ran off in opposite directions.
Court heard Mujuru confronted the man and argued with him. The victim pushed Mujuru.
The student then went to his car and got a baseball bat. The two argued again and Mujuru hit the man in the head so hard that a nearby security guard heard a “loud, popping noise,” Flanagan said.
Mujuru told police he felt the bat attack was justified.
Police investigated a possible sexual assault, but no charges were recommended.
Court heard that in April 2013, inside the same nightclub, and while on bail with conditions, Mujuru punched another guest in the face after the two bumped into each other near the dance floor.
The victim attempted to brush off Mujuru to avoid a conflict. That’s when the student threw the only punch in a one-way fight.
Defence lawyer Richard Begin said that, despite the convictions, his client hopes to become a Canadian citizen after he graduates.
Court heard Mujuru won an award from a student group as a manager of the year and that his father is a doctor in Zimbabwe. (Kamloops This Week)