No jail for B.C. man who killed cat, assaulted wife after he didn’t get a birthday party

A Williams Lake Provincial Court judge has given Brendon Nguyen a 12-month conditional sentence and a year’s probation after he pleaded guilty.

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Warning: This story may be distressing to some readers.


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A man who “stomped” his cat to death and assaulted his wife after he got drunk when no one threw him a birthday party was sentenced earlier in December to a 12-month conditional sentence and a year’s probation in Williams Lake Provincial Court.

While Judge Michelle Stanford said all spousal assault is serious, it was Brendon Nguyen’s killing of the couple’s cat Vesper that affected her.

“I find that the nature of the injury and ultimate death of Vesper particularly disturbing and aggravating,” Stanford said. “Notwithstanding Mr. Nguyen’s extreme level of intoxication, his conduct was purposeful and prolonged causing pain, fear and death.”

He pleaded guilty to one count of spousal assault and one count of wilfully killing Vesper.


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The court heard that on July 16, 2020 — the day after Nguyen’s birthday — he began drinking and became argumentative with his wife, Tashina Matilpi, about the lack of a party, according to an agreed statement of facts.

As Nguyen became louder, potentially disturbing the couple’s two-week-old baby, Matilpi attempted to quiet him.

Nguyen pushed her with an open palm, causing her to fall backwards onto an air purifier in their apartment. She was left with a thigh bruise, court documents show.

Court  was told that a series of events resulted in a search for the couple’s missing cat and a recording from the building security camera that depicted “Mr. Nguyen stomping on Vesper.”

The tape was not viewed in court, which was told the  assault lasted about 11 minutes, “from the first kick to Vesper’s last sound.”


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The cat was later found by the building manager wrapped in a pink sweater in a nearby dumpster.

“I find that the imposition of a jail sentence appropriate in light of the circumstances of Vesper’s prolonged multiple assaults and ultimate death,” Stanford said.

“However, I am mindful there were clear signs, on the agreed facts, that Mr. Nguyen was under the influence of extreme intoxication by alcohol and/or drugs and that this tragic incident was not premeditated. In my view, this lowers Mr. Nguyen’s moral blameworthiness.”

The judge gave Nguyen a conditional sentence to be served in the community.

Read more at the Prince George Citizen.

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