Ighani

Afshin Maleki Ighani arrives at court in this 2018 file photo.

One of the South Okanagan’s most notorious criminals is back on the streets.

Afshin Maleki Ighani, 48, was sentenced Tuesday in B.C. Supreme Court on two counts of assault with a weapon and one count of assaulting a peace officer.

Under the terms of a plea bargain, he was sentenced to 21 months’ imprisonment, which he had already completed, meaning he is now a free man.

The sentencing brought to an end nearly three years’ worth of legal wrangling as Ighani sought delays and fired lawyers as he battled through three separate sets of charges.

Tuesday’s matters related to a pair of incidents at the Okanagan Correctional Centre while Ighani was incarcerated there.

Court heard that on Sept. 9, 2017, Ighani approached David James McHale, a 70-year-old sex offender, and began arguing with him.

Ighani then produced a “flat, metal blade-like object” and slashed at McHale, cutting one of McHale’s shoulders, according to Crown counsel John Swanson.

Another inmate who had been talking to McHale before the attack intervened and suffered lacerations to his hand.

Then, on March 14, 2018, Ighani attacked a correctional officer after she escorted him back to his prison cell. As she was closing the door, he escaped, and when a struggle ensued, Ighani grabbed the officer by the throat.

The matter that put Ighani in OCC at the time of both attacks was an alleged drug-related kidnapping. However, he was acquitted of those charges earlier this month after a judge found numerous frailties in the Crown’s case; one of the alleged victims fled to the U.S. before trial, while the other claimed no memory of events.

Ighani is no stranger to the courts, having been sentenced in 2007 to 42 months in prison for his connection to an Oliver drug ring.

The native of Iran was ordered deported after that conviction, but his departure was stayed because he faced the death penalty in his home country, according to a source with knowledge of the matter.