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Bus attacker goes to jail

In front of a large contingent of bus drivers and his parents, Steven Fayant  was sentenced to 22 months in jail and three years probation in a Surrey courtroom on Tuesday.

He was given the jail sentence for stabbing an innocent man who was getting off a transit bus in Aldergrove last February.

Fayant was also sentenced to time served plus a day in jail for choking a bus driver. That incident took place inSurrey, a few days before the stabbing. He was given three years probation and numerous strict conditions after his release, including not being allowed to ride public transit without permission from his probation officer.

Last year, the 20-year-old crack cocaine addict pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and assault. The Crown was asking for three years in jail and his defense lawyer asked for 14 months.

Judge Paul Dohm sentenced Fayant to 33 months but brought it down to 22 months for time served for the "shocking and senseless attacks."

"This sends a message to the accused that random attacks on unsuspecting individuals will not be tolerated," said Dohm. The gaunt-looking Fayant said nothing in the court, where the bus driver he choked was present.

Upon Fayant's release from jail he isn't to have any contact with his victims and is not allowed to be in Langley City or in Aldergrove. The judge said that if Fayant refuses to take prescribed medication, he will be forced to report to his probation officer daily.

In his judgement, Dohm told of Fayant, who grew up in a dysfunctional family setting but became "unmanageable" by age 13. His dad kicked him out by 13, and he was already using drugs and alcohol. He went from foster care homes to couch surfing and living on the streets. He quit school before 16 and has no vocational skills.

The psychologist who assessed him said he has little interest in getting therapy and it's unlikely he would benefit from counselling. He has been to five recovery houses and has been kicked out for not living by house rules.

The bus driver Fayant choked suffered emotionally and feared going back to work.

Outside the courtroom, Coast Mountain bus driver union representative Gavin Davies said the sentence was a "step in the right direction."

"It's good the courts are taking these cases seriously," said Davies.

Davies said bus drivers don't want to put up shields to protect them.

"The best way to deal with this is stiffer penalties," Davies said. "So the next time a rider is upset a bus is late, they will think twice about spitting on the driver or throwing coffee at them because it might land them in jail."

On Feb. 18, 2012, Fayant got on a bus near 76 Avenue and King George Blvd. and told the driver he didn't have enough for the fare. The bus was full.

Not long afterwards, the on-board bus security video recorded Fayant lunging at the driver and grabbing him around the throat.

The driver suffered a small nick to his neck, likely from a fingernail.

Fayant fled the scene.

He later told a psychiatrist that he tried to choke the driver because he didn't like the way the man was driving the bus.

On Feb. 21, Fayant stabbed a 41-year-old man in the back after both men got off a Coast Mountain bus near Aldergrove Centre Mall.

The injured man suffered a lacerated kidney and was unable to work for three months.

Fayant told the psychiatrist he believed two men sitting near him on the bus were laughing at him and were somehow connected to an 2010 incident where he was abducted and beaten over a drug debt.

In fact, the victim had just moved to B.C. from Ontario and was talking with his brother.

Neither knew Fayant.

The psychiatric assessment rated Fayant as a high to high-to-moderate risk for violent behaviour.

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