A Pitt Meadows woman recently separated from a member of the Hells Angels should spend 18 months behind bars for viciously assaulting two women - one of them her sister - a prosecutor said.
In March a B.C. Supreme Court jury found Shawna McCoach, 27, guilty of the assault of her sister, Brandi McCoach, and the aggravated assault of her former friend Amanda Dekok.
The incident happened in August 2010 outside Ridge Meadows Hospital, while the accused - who recently split with her common-law husband Warner Gonzalez - was nine months pregnant.
Wielding a large kitchen knife, she approached her sister Brandi, who had taken her young son to the hospital for an examination after he'd allegedly been abused.
She stabbed her sister once in the right hand and then turned towards Dekok, and stabbed Dekok in the right arm.
McCoach then fled the scene without assisting either assault victim.
The two women were treated at the hospital and Dekok was transferred to Vancouver General Hospital for surgery for a four-centimetre wound in her upper arm that severed her radial nerve.
"I describe it as a vicious and bold attack on Brandi McCoach and Amanda Dekok in broad daylight in a public place," Crown counsel Sheryl Wagner told B.C. Supreme Court Justice Robert Sewell during a sentencing hearing in Vancouver last week.
"This shows a complete disregard by the accused of her surroundings."
Wagner said the assaults were compounded by the fact that they occurred in the presence of Brandi's young son, who was already going through a traumatic experience.
Wagner argued that McCoach showed no remorse and a lack of insight into the unprovoked attacks, and poses a risk to re-offend.
Jim Vilvang, the accused's lawyer, told the judge that his client had a background of abuse, amounting to strong mitigation for her.
He noted that McCoach had recently separated from Haney Hells Angel Gonzalez, which he called a "positive step" in her life.
McCoach herself had become involved with the Hells Angels at the age of 18 through her cousin, he said.
Vilvang described a family upbringing of "considerable turmoil" with a longstanding and sometimes violent conflict between the sisters.
He said that at age 19, she became pregnant and that her father coerced her into having an abortion.
Vilvang told the judge the accused had suffered physical and mental abuse at the hands of Gonzalez and had multiple miscarriages.
The fact that McCoach was nine months pregnant at the time of the offences and therefore subject to mood swings was important, he said.
"She maintains to this day that she was acting to defend her child. I submit that that is not inconsistent with the jury's finding."
Vilvang argued for a suspended sentence with a period of probation.
The judge reserved his decision until today (Tuesday, July 24).
-Keith Fraser is a reporter with The Province