Canadian News May 9, 2021 10:57 PM EST

Racist attack against Chinese student on TTC bus places man on house arrest

The sentence was given to a man who plead guilty in April to the attack, which happened last year in Toronto.

Racist attack against Chinese student on TTC bus places man on house arrest
Jarryd Jaeger North Vancouver, BC
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The sentence was given to a man who plead guilty in April to the attack, which happened last year in Toronto.

According to CP24, 47-year-old Michael Hennesy was charged with assault after verbally abusing a Chinese student aboard a TTC bus. "In the four minutes he was on the bus," they report, "Hennesy declared himself Canadian, hurled profanities at her, insulted Chinese people, and told her to go back to where she came from."

After the student began recording Hennesy on her phone, he grabbed her arm in an attempt to knock it out of her hand. She responded by hitting him in the face and screaming.

Judge Howard Borenstein said that "the physical attack was relatively minor but still had a severe effect on the victim", adding that "she was unable to finish her semester, felt forced to move, and needed therapy."

The Ontario court judge lamented the fact that such attacks are still occurring in 2021. "This offence shows how vulnerable society is to the ugly reality of racism and how quickly it can spread", he said. “Racism is awful on its own given the dehumanizing effects it can have, and it often can lead to physical violence, which is what occurred here.”

Hennesy, who according to CP24 had a violent childhood and was in counselling for a long battle with addiction, was drunk at the time of the attack. Along with the help of his sister, a doctor, and a therapist, he attempted to show that he had no history of racism, but Judge Borenstein was "skeptical."

The judge sentenced Hennesy to "four months house arrest along with a year's probation", as well as "30 hours of community service."


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