A man with a long criminal record who beat to death a man who had just beaten a woman in a Montreal park will be able to be released from prison next year.
“(Matthew) Croxen may have had good intentions at the beginning, but he committed an act of great violence with a terrible consequence: a man died,” Judge Alexandre Boucher said, sentencing him to a year in prison.
The 40-year-old, who had been in custody since his arrest in spring 2020, pleaded guilty last December to a reduced charge of involuntary manslaughter. Therefore, he would have been sentenced to six years in prison, but he has already served five due to the preventive time granted.
On May 26, 2020, in a park near the Atwater subway station, Krzysztof Pludowski, who was intoxicated, punched his partner in the face at least twice. The latter fell to the ground.
Croxen then intervened and a physical and verbal altercation ensued between the two men. Then the woman tried to intervene and separate them, without success.
“Mr Croxen threw blunt objects at Mr Pludowski and hit him once on the head with a wooden board. Mr. Pludowski fell to the ground, unconscious and convulsing,” reads the sentence recently handed down in the Montreal court.
Pludowski, who was taken to hospital after the attack, died from his injuries a few weeks later.
Krzysztof Pludowski was murdered on May 26, 2020 in Montreal. Archives courtesy of the family.
It was agreed Croxen had no intention of killing Pludowski, Judge Boucher said.
“Let’s be clear, Mr. Croxen’s reaction went beyond self-defense or defense of others,” he clarified, however, mentioning that he represented a risk of recidivism.
The offender has 120 convictions between 1997 and 2018, including several cases of assault, armed assault, threats and robbery.
He never had a job and made a living by stealing and selling stolen goods.
Croxen has lived on the streets for most of his adult life, but does not consider himself homeless because he has often managed to find a roof over his head, particularly with the help of friends, according to a report prepared by its indigenous origins. .
Repentance of the accused
During sentencing, Croxen apologized and expressed his sincere remorse.
“He explained that seeing the woman beaten brought back memories of his mother’s beating and he was overcome with emotion. Furthermore, he fully recognized that he needed help and that he was not prepared to enjoy complete freedom,” Judge Boucher stated.
Mr. Croxen therefore requested to be sent to a rehabilitation program offered by an indigenous organization in Quebec.
In this case, the Crown asked for a sentence of 8 to 10 years in prison. The defense, for its part, had requested a sentence of 5 years.