Posted on January 1, 2023

Man Who Slashed Stranger’s Throat on CTrain Avoids Federal Prison

Kevin Martin, Calgary Herald, November 28, 2022

Sending an offender who slashed the throat of a total stranger on a CTrain to a federal prison would do no good for either the perpetrator or society, a judge said Monday.

Instead, provincial court Judge Harry Van Harten sentenced Bobby Crane, 25, to the maximum provincial jail time of two years less a day and ordered him to serve three additional years of probation.

Van Harten agreed with defence lawyer Rebecca Snukal that the justice system had failed Crane by repeatedly sending him to jail instead of getting him help in navigating life while suffering from Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder.


Crown prosecutor Tara Wells sought a four-year penitentiary term for Crane, who slashed the throat of a visually impaired Calgary man on his way to work during morning rush hour.

In a victim impact statement, Leonard Smith, 65, said doctors told him the 23-centimetre gash on his throat missed his carotid artery by four millimetres.

Wells said a severe sentence was required for what she called “a horrific act of random violence.”


She said Crane told a friend he wanted “to get” a guy before walking up to Smith with a utility knife.


Van Harten said the generational trauma European society has caused to Indigenous communities had to be addressed.

“The history of colonialism has to be taken into account,” he said.