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Charge against Etobicoke man who stabbed home intruder dropped

The Crown has dropped an aggravated assault charge against an Etobicoke man who stabbed an intruder in his home last year.

“Who gets charged in the first place for this?” Moses Mahilal said outside of a Toronto court on Thursday.

“He saved my life,” his girlfriend Sarah Walsh added.

Mahilal, now 29, was returning home with Walsh in the early morning hours of July 31, 2011, when they noticed something amiss in their Keele Street and Eglinton Avenue home. With Walsh’s mother asleep upstairs, Mahilal grabbed a knife and Walsh called police.

Mahilal eventually found the intruder. They fought and Mahilal stabbed him. The man, later identified as Kino Johnson, fled the house and also called police.

Johnson, who suffered a collapsed lung and several slash wounds, was eventually sentenced to 20 months in prison after pleading guilty to break and enter and possessing stolen property.

Mahilal, who has said he was acting in self-defence, could have faced up to 14 years in jail had he been convicted.

The Crown said Thursday they dropped the charge against Mahilal in part because there was a problem with Johnson’s credibility as a victim.

“The Crown attorney reassessed the case…and decided they no longer had a prospect of convicting him,” Mahilal’s lawyer Daniel Brown said Thursday.

Initially, the Crown had questioned whether Mahilal went too far in defending himself.

“After hearing from the complainant, they no longer believed the complainant,” Brown said.

Brown said that he had expected the Crown to drop the charges much earlier in the investigation.

It took more than a year before Mahilal had his day in court, a process he and Walsh said they wished had moved more quickly.

“I feel grateful that it’s all over,” Mahilal said.

“It’s been a terrifying experience. I don’t wish it on any Canadian. We need to be able to protect ourselves,” Walsh said.