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Lifelong criminal jailed for 58 months

Tim Edwards
Northern News Services
Published Monday, February 1, 2010

SOMBA K'E/YELLOWKNIFE - A 28-year-old Fort McPherson man will serve 58 months in jail after being charged with multiple offences including brutally beating his grandfather into unconsciousness and in an unrelated sexual assault on a woman.

"You've had a difficult life ... but you've hurt a lot of people," said Judge Donald Cooper after handing down the sentence.

Johnny Jeffery Simon mercilessly beat John Simon Sr., 78, in the elder's home in Fort McPherson on Dec. 7 2008.

"There's no doubt he was viciously beaten about the head," said Cooper, who had seen photos of Simon Sr. and the crime scene.

The elder died in the Inuvik Regional Hospital on Feb. 9 2009. Though Simon Sr. suffered severe injuries to his brain, he died of heart failure and doctors maintained that his death would have occurred without the brain injury given his age and medical history.

Simon was charged for assault against Simon Sr. in 2008 and part of his probation order prohibited him from going to his grandfather's house - an order he breached to commit the final assault.

Cooper touched on aspects of the younger Simon's life which he described as "tragic."

Simon's mother was an alcoholic, and Simon may have fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. He never knew his father and when he was a teenager, his mother was stabbed to death - a case that remains unsolved.

Simon blames his grandfather for his mother's death and alleges that his grandfather molested him.

Simon was addicted to liquor and solvents, including propane and gasoline, by the age of 12.

Cooper stated Simon has "been in court virtually every year since 1994" and has 39 previous convictions.

"(Simon) is a habitual criminal who has not been amenable to changing his ways."

He was charged on Jan. 27, 2009 with sexual assault, aggravated assault, two breaches of probation, uttering threats, and possession of a weapon.

Simon was sentenced to six-and-a-half years total but was given 20 months credit for time served in remand, which equalled 58 months in jail. Cooper "strongly recommended" that Simon be able to serve his time in River Ridge Correctional Centre in Fort Smith, which has programs to cater to inmates with cognitive impairment.

"I sincerely hope you can benefit from your time (at River Ridge). Don't waste it," said Cooper.

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