One by one, Gregory Fost’s loved ones stood up in a Halifax courtroom Thursday to tell the man who violently took his life last April how losing him has devastated their lives.

 

Police officers found Fost, 37, stabbed to death inside a Windmill Road apartment building at 12:30 a.m. April 23, 2008 following a gathering in Dartmouth during which five acquaintances were “drinking significantly,” according to the statement of facts.

 

Justice Heather Robertson sentenced Kenneth James Humphreys, 46, to 10 years in a federal prison after he pleaded guilty to manslaughter. He received 33 months credit for time already served, for final sentence of seven years and three months.

 

Fost’s mother was the first to read her victim impact statement aloud in Nova Scotia Supreme Court.

“His murder has left a hole in my heart and an emptiness in my soul,” said Carol Whittock, who like many in the courtroom came dressed in black and clung tightly to tear-soaked tissues.

Whittock said her son had fought hard to rehabilitate himself after suffering a serious head injury when he was hit by a drunk driver as a teenager.

Stepbrother Steven Van Alstyne added Fost had never fully recovered, calling the fact he had survived “a gift from God.”

“My brother Greg was more than a deeply loved brother, he was an affirmation to me of an underlying goodness around us and now that belief is gone,” he said. “That belief is strangled; it was stabbed repeatedly by a knife.”

Humphreys, described in court as a severe alcoholic, was also sentenced to six years for the aggravated assault of Clyde Hogan and two years for the unlawful confinement of Lorraine Robinson and Louise Butts, also from that fateful night. The three prison terms will be served concurrently.

Carly Hood spoke on behalf of the son she shared with Fost.

“To have to face that little boy and tell him that his father had been murdered in a senseless act of random violence was unbearable,” she said, her voice cracking.

Humphreys stood up and apologized before being sentenced, adding “I never intended for this to happen.”