Survivor of random stabbing in NDG 'disgusted' with attacker's sentence

A woman who was stabbed in the neck on an NDG street one night in January 2016 isn't happy with the sentence handed to her attacker.

On Jan. 27, 2016, Smadar Brandes was walking home from the Villa-Maria metro station on Monkland Ave. near Earnscliffe in NDG, when she was stabbed by Mathew Roberge, who didn't know Brandes and was high on drugs at the time of the attack.

It was not the 28-year-old Roberge's first brush with the law — a little less than two years earlier, Roberge was handed a four year prison term for manslaughter for sucker-punching and killing a man for no apparent reason outside a Laval bar in 2013. He was on probation at that time, and also had a history of violence crime and drug offences dating back to 2008.

Earlier this week, Roberge was handed a seven-year prison term for the attack on Brandes, which would be followed by eight years of surveillance as a long-term offender. Considering the time he's already served, he could be paroled, and back on the streets, within a year.

Following the hearing, Brandes told the Montreal Gazette that she was "shocked and disgusted" at not only the sentence, but the charge — aggravated assault. Initially, he faced the far more serious charge of attempted murder but, according to Brandes, the prosecution was unable to prove intent to kill.

During Roberge's sentencing hearing, the court heard how Brandes narrowly escaped death that night — the knife blade had missed her carotid artery by less than two millimetres. The court also heard how a passerby, a 21-year-old man named Greg Wise, calmed her down while he called 9-1-1 to report the attack.

Earlier on the night of the attack, Roberge had had an argument with his father over his drug use.

On Jan. 27, 2016, Smadar Brandes was walking home from the Villa-Maria metro station on Monkland Ave. near Earnscliffe in NDG, when she was stabbed by Mathew Roberge, who didn't know Brandes and was high on drugs at the time of the attack.

It was not the 28-year-old Roberge's first brush with the law — a little less than two years earlier, Roberge was handed a four year prison term for manslaughter for sucker-punching and killing a man for no apparent reason outside a Laval bar in 2013. He was on probation at that time, and also had a history of violence crime and drug offences dating back to 2008.

Earlier this week, Roberge was handed a seven-year prison term for the attack on Brandes, which would be followed by eight years of surveillance as a long-term offender. Considering the time he's already served, he could be paroled, and back on the streets, within a year.

Following the hearing, Brandes told the Montreal Gazette that she was "shocked and disgusted" at not only the sentence, but the charge — aggravated assault. Initially, he faced the far more serious charge of attempted murder but, according to Brandes, the prosecution was unable to prove intent to kill.

During Roberge's sentencing hearing, the court heard how Brandes narrowly escaped death that night — the knife blade had missed her carotid artery by less than two millimetres. The court also heard how a passerby, a 21-year-old man named Greg Wise, calmed her down while he called 9-1-1 to report the attack.

Earlier on the night of the attack, Roberge had had an argument with his father over his drug use.