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Sentencing begins for man who stabbed man in throat, hit woman with bat

Anthony Rouskov Nielsen, 22, was arrested by Nanaimo RCMP in December 2021
Courthouse in Nanaimo. (News Bulletin file)

Warning: This story contains details about a violent assault.

A man who pleaded guilty to stabbing an elderly man in the neck and attacking an elderly woman with a bat two years ago is about to learn his fate.

Anthony Rouskov Nielsen, 22, was charged with two counts of aggravated assault and two counts of assault with a weapon after a Dec. 18, 2021, incident where a couple in their 60s were attacked in their Nanaimo home and sustained numerous near-fatal injuries; he was arrested and placed in custody shortly after the incident.

Sentencing began Thursday, Dec. 7 in provincial court in Nanaimo in front of Judge Tamara Hodge. Jill Vivian, Crown counsel sought a federal sentence of seven years per charge to be served concurrently. Roberto Alberto, Nielsen’s legal representative, sought 36 months in jail for each count to be served concurrently.

According to an agreed statement of facts, Nielsen, a friend of the couple, had been staying with them at their home, but said he moved out due to methamphetamine use. The night of the offence, the woman heard a bump and after climbing a staircase to the kitchen, was attacked by Nielsen, who stabbed the woman repeatedly with a knife and hit her with a bat while she was on the floor.

The woman grabbed the bat and attempted to hit Nielsen, said Vivian citing the statement. Nielsen was said to look “zoned out.” The man, who has mobility issues, intervened, but was pushed down the stairs, into the basement. Nielsen also stabbed the man.

While first aid was being performed, the man had trouble breathing and was transferred air ambulance to a hospital in Victoria where he underwent surgery and was in critical care. He was found to have a large laceration in his larynx, as well as lacerations to his scalp and neck.

The woman was transferred to Nanaimo Regional General Hospital. Her numerous injuries included stab wounds to the back, lower left arm and neck. In addition, she suffered a hemorrhage between her brain and the surrounding membrane and suffered paralysis to the left side of her face.

A fingerprint found at the residence by investigators matched Nielsen’s.

Nielsen, who is of Indigenous ancestry, was experienced delusional beliefs about the victims and was suffering from drug-induced psychosis after using crystal methamphetamines at the time of the offences, Vivian stated. He had no previous criminal record, but Vivian said he was at high risk to re-offend.

After police left the room while he was being questioned, Nielsen was heard muttering to himself, with expletives talking about a demon “being here now,” throwing the blade in a stream (a knife was never recovered), and how he should’ve stabbed the man in the chest.

Nielsen pleaded guilty on May 29. Reading a statement in court, he said he has been sober for two years and asked for forgiveness for the pain he inflicted on the victims.

Hodge reserved her decision, stating there was a lot of information to consider.

A sentencing date is expected to be established on Tuesday, Dec. 12.

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