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Orillia man accused in violent stabbing denied bail

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David Shirk, an Orillia man with a history of arrests and addiction, was denied bail on Tuesday after being accused of a stabbing that sent a man to the hospital in November.

Shirk's sisters, Tracy Tilly and Kelly Aulbrook, stand by their brother, supporting the man they say has struggled with addiction for years.

"If I ever needed him when I was in my abusive situation, I called David. David was there for me," said Tilly. "Yeah, drugs suck. Drugs ruined his life. It literally ruined him."

"He fell off the wagon. You know, they all do at some point in their life," said Aulbrook. "We're going to fight to get him better, and we want him back."

Shirk, an alleged fentanyl trafficker, was arrested in December with charges including assault with a weapon, assault causing bodily harm, robbery and wounding.

He also failed to comply with a probation order following allegations of a violent altercation in Orillia that sent one person to the hospital with stab wounds to his abdomen, neck and hands.

Shirk has been arrested on six different occasions dating back to 2011, but his most recent charges have come following a breakup with his longtime partner that loved ones say led him to another relapse.

"This isn't the David I know and miss." shared Tilly.

The court heard officers say that in 2022, while on a call about a suspected overdose, they found Shirk, who provided a false name and then fled from police.

It's alleged Shirk's pitbull attacked the arresting officer, who suffered injuries to his face.

Police claim a large amount of drugs were found that day, including suspected cocaine, along with blue and green fentanyl.

The Crown noted Shirk has 44 offences before the court, including 10 allegations of violence, saying Shirk has eight prior convictions and has breached two previous releases.

His sisters told CTV News Shirk is a loving father and brother who is now getting clean in jail. They hope he is on the road to recovery and redemption.

"I love my brother, and I just want him back. I wanted to be the old David, and he is coming back," Tilly finished.

Shirk will make his next appearance in a week from jail in Penetanguishene.

The allegations against him have not been tested in court.

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