A 44-year-old man has been sentenced after he lodged a racist attack on a woman in a park earlier this year, according to prosecutors.
William Penney, 44, pleaded guilty to assault in connection to the July attack of a woman at Kelowna's City Park in British Columbia, Canada.
The incident stemmed from Penney believing the woman was recording him. The woman was on her phone in the park when Penny approached her, spit on her, called her the N-word, pushed her, and slammed her phone to the ground, according to prosecutor Katie Bouchard. Bouchard called the attack "degrading and dehumanizing," noting that the woman left town following the incident.
The prosecutor argued that Penney had a history of racist beliefs. At the same time, his defense cited his mental health issues including narcissistic personality disorder, antisocial personality disorder, and schizophrenia as well as drug use. A doctor said Penny "continues to experience long-standing grandiose delusions while on injectable antipsychotic treatment."
Kelowna provincial court judge Andrew Tam said he considered Penney's mental health struggles when sentencing him to 133 days in prison and at least nine months at the Red Fish Healing Centre for Mental Health and Addiction in Coquitlam.
“This was a random, disgusting act perpetrated on an innocent passerby. Mr. Penney spat on [the victim] which I find particularly disgusting and in addition, the assault was accompanied by racial slurs,” Tam said. “Mr. Penney has for all of his adult life suffered from significant and profound mental health struggles … I must not lose sight of the principle of rehabilitation as well as proportionality.”