Halifax man sentenced to 6 years for fatal blow to the head

·2 min read
Troy Edward William Clayton punched Benjamin Lokeny on this corner of Halifax. Lokeny fell, hit his head on the sidewalk, and later died.  (Google Streetview - image credit)
Troy Edward William Clayton punched Benjamin Lokeny on this corner of Halifax. Lokeny fell, hit his head on the sidewalk, and later died. (Google Streetview - image credit)

A Nova Scotia Supreme Court judge has handed a six-year sentence to a Halifax man after a fatal altercation nearly four years ago, saying the 55-year-old's alcoholism fuels violent and out-of-control behaviour.

Troy Edward William Clayton pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the death of Benjamin Lokeny, an acquaintance who died in 2017 after being punched and striking his head on a concrete sidewalk.

"The problem is that [Clayton] has a disease — alcoholism," Associate Chief Justice Patrick Duncan said Friday as he read from his sentencing decision. "It contributes to his violent behaviour."

Benjamin Lokeny, a native of South Sudan, died of injuries he sustained in Halifax in 2017.
Benjamin Lokeny, a native of South Sudan, died of injuries he sustained in Halifax in 2017.

Lokeny was found badly injured at the intersection of Buddy Daye and Gottingen streets in Halifax on July 20, 2017. An agreed statement of facts read in court stated Clayton struck Lokeny with a punch to the head that knocked him backward.

When Lokeny fell, his head struck the concrete sidewalk. He was rushed to hospital and was in a coma for over a month before he died.

A medical examiner report showed Lokeny, a native of South Sudan who was living and working in Halifax at the time, died from blunt force trauma to the head.

Clayton's arrest came nearly two years later, just days after the case was added to Nova Scotia's Rewards for Major Unsolved Crimes program. The program pays as much as $150,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of a person wanted for a crime.

Clayton pleaded not guilty to the original charge of second-degree murder and was awaiting trial when he pleaded guilty to the lesser charge earlier this month.

Dozens of previous convictions including assaults

In his decision, Duncan referred to Clayton's long criminal record, which has 76 prior convictions, including several for assault. Of those convictions, 14 came after the day Lokeny was punched in 2017 and before Clayton was arrested in 2019.

"Your inability or failure to stop your criminal activity, including assaults after Mr. Lokeny had died, really struck me as to how out of control you were," said Duncan.

"I continue to be concerned about your potential to continue the upward trajectory of the use of violence when you are under the influence of alcohol."

Clayton has spent almost two years in custody since his arrest. Duncan stated Clayton is doing well in jail with programs to help with his alcoholism.

Lokeny moved to Halifax in 2001 and was working for a local cleaning company at the time of his death. He had been sending money back to his family who still lived in South Sudan.

MORE TOP STORIES