“He only got 30 days for breaking someone’s face. My life has never been the same.” This is what Ryan Cox said after hearing the sentencing of Todd Ball, a player who smashed his face with a hockey stick in a 3-on-3 hockey tournament last summer.
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The 27-year-old victim reportedly suffered a concussion, shattered nose and fractured orbital bone from the assault. “I can’t feel my face. It is numb. I get bad headaches. It is hard for me to sleep. I’ve had facial surgeries and reconstructions. The sentence was too lenient. It’s an injustice. It’s ridiculous” he said.
The surprising thing about this whole incident is it was unprovoked. There was no rhyme or reason behind the attack that required seven hours of surgery and six plates in his face.
The 38-year-old aggressor was allegedly “binge drinking” in the early parts of the morning for his birthday, before he hit the ice to be the goalie in the tournament, according to St. Catharines Standard.
The judge presiding over the case, Tory Colvin, said the drinking was an explanation, not an excuse. “Mr Cox could not have anticipated he would be hit at all, much less with a goal stick. Mr Ball’s drinking problem and his background are an explanation, not an excuse,” he said.
Colvin explained that since they’re putting themselves in some form of danger in a contact sport that dealing with “on-ice” assaults are tough. “In my mind, the significant fact is that this was a non-contact, fun tournament,” he said. “It makes it very different from cases involving competitive play, for instance in the NHL or the AHL.
Ball and his lawyer tried to bring up his tough upbringing as a kid as if that should somehow excuse the assault. According to the pre-sentencing report, Ball’s father was in a biker gang and spent half his life in and out of jail. The household was abusive, and at age 12, Cox witnessed his father being beat to death in front of him.
The judge felt that background played little to no part in the attack when he gave the 30-day sentence that Cox will serve on weekends. Watch the video below and tell us if you think the sentence was fair.