Campbell Creek invader pleads guilty to series of charges; will be sentenced in November

A man who terrorized a Kamloops neighbourhood last year, breaking into homes, pistol-whipping one resident and stabbing another, could spend 12 years in prison.

John Stark pleaded guilty on Friday to charges stemming from a series of incidents on Nov. 20, 2017.

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Court heard the attacks began at about 4 p.m., when a Campbell Creek resident returned home from work to find an intruder, later identified as Stark, inside his house.

When confronted by the homeowner, Stark pointed a gun at him and said, “I have a gun and I’m going to shoot you.”

The two men began fighting and Stark struck the homeowner several times in the back of the head with the handgun. Stark then grabbed a sharp tool and stabbed the homeowner in the face at least 20 times, resulting in significant injuries.

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Stark fled the home and the homeowner called 911 at 4:08 p.m.

Court heard Stark then entered a neighbouring home, where two children, ages three and six, were watching a movie while their father showered.

The homeowner heard a commotion and confronted Stark, who stabbed him twice in the chest in front of both kids.

Stark fled the home and was held by an off-duty Mountie until additional officers arrived.

In court on Friday, Stark, who had initially been charged with attempted murder, apologized for his offences.

“I should never have been where I was that day, doing what I was doing,” said Stark, who has been behind bars since his arrest.

“These are the situations drugs put people in. … I understand that I need to be punished for this. Not a day goes by that I don’t regret what I did. I apologize for hurting those people.”

Stark had a criminal record prior to Friday’s guilty plea and, during a sentencing for a property crime a few years ago, court heard how the death of Stark’s brother in 2013 profoundly affected him.

Crown prosecutor Sarah Firestone asked for a prison sentence between 10 and 12 years. Defence lawyer Don Campbell, meanwhile, suggested a sentence in the range of seven to nine years.

B.C. Supreme Court Justice Warren Milman will sentence Stark on Nov. 2.

© 2018 Kamloops This Week

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