New details have emerged about a vicious attack on two seniors in their Nanaimo home nearly two years ago.
The details came out Thursday at a sentencing hearing at the Nanaimo courthouse for the young man who attacked them.
Rick King has stab wounds on his chest, neck and head, some that altered his voice from the night he and his wife were brutally attacked in their Nanaimo home.
“He opened the door and just whoomf, right here, stabbed me right here,” said King.
It was Dec. 18, 2021, when then-20-year-old Anthony Nielsen, wearing a mask but still recognizable to the couple, entered their home unannounced and began his vicious attack. He stabbed 67-year-old Rick and his 68-year-old wife, Barbara, many times. He also beat Barbara with a baseball bat.
“He was stabbing her in the head. There was so much blood all over the place,” said King.
Nielsen pushed Rick down the stairs and he was losing so much blood he couldn’t get up. His wife called 9-1-1. BC Ambulance took both to the hospital.
Rick was airlifted to hospital in Victoria with life-threatening injuries. He was in hospital for five weeks. His wife faces paralysis in part of her face and has another surgery still planned.
‘We took him in’
The details are part of an agreed statement of facts read at Nielsen’s sentencing Thursday. The court heard Nielsen hadn’t taken his medications for two weeks prior and was in a state of psychosis after ingesting cannabis, alcohol and cocaine.
He knew the couple as a neighbour when he was a teen. They had let him stay in their home for four months less than a year before the attack.
“We took him in when they sent him to the psychiatric hospital in Nanaimo. We gave him a room downstairs for free,” said King.
Story continues below.
After the attack, Nielsen changed his clothing before returning to his supportive housing on Boundary Cresent in Nanaimo, where police arrested him that night.
At first, he lied to the police and said he had been at the Nanaimo Aquatic Centre. Police checked the pool’s surveillance which ruled that story out and a fingerprint and boot footprints also placed Nielsen at the home. He also took a cab to near the Kings’ home before the attack. At first, he told the cab driver the Kings’ address and then instead asked to be dropped off near the home.
Initially charged with attempted murder, Nielsen pleaded guilty to charges of aggravated assault and assault with a weapon.
The experience has impacted the couple emotionally. They’ve fortified their house with bars and surveillance cameras and aren’t sure if they’ll ever be able to resume their lives without fear.
“I don’t feel like going out. I stay in a lot. I think about it every day,” said King.
Nielsen has been in custody since the incident. The Crown is calling for a sentence of seven years while his lawyer is calling for time served, which would also see Nielsen going to a treatment facility on the mainland.
King agrees with the Crown.
“He shouldn’t even be on the streets until his head is fixed,” said King. He said he hopes Nielsen gets the help he needs.
The Crown says, based on a psychiatric report, she believes Nielsen is a high risk to reoffend.
The judge will sentence Nielsen at a future date that has yet to be set.
King said he received great medical care and he’d especially like to thank the paramedics, those working on floor seven at Royal Jubilee Hospital, victim services and those who supported him and his wife through a GoFundMe.