A woman who was found guilty of stabbing her boyfriend in the stomach with a bread knife and burning him with water used to boil vegetables has been sentenced to 30 months plus one day in jail.
Kathryn Patricia Saunders, 47, appeared in St. John’s provincial court as Judge James Walsh announced his decision. She faced 16 charges in all and entered guilty pleas for some of them. On the charges of assault with a weapon and assault causing bodily harm, Saunders claimed during her trial in August those actions were in self-defence.
A court order was in place to prevent Saunders from having any contact with the man when she showed up at his house on Topsail Road in Conception Bay South on March 31. Saunders had at one point lived there with the man.
Walsh said their relationship was violent and alcohol fuelled, noting 26 calls to the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary were recorded within a one-year time period.
The judge said Saunders was clearly provoked by the victim, as he pushed her to the floor multiple times. However, he felt her decision to stab the victim and throw a pot of hot water at him was excessive and disproportionate.
The knife punctured the lining of the victim’s abdomen, an injury that required surgery. He was also treated for burns on his arms and legs and a slash wound on his face.
A former Memorial University wellness educator whose work involved tasks that included counselling students about responsible drinking, Saunders became increasingly dependent on alcohol following the end of her marriage in 1999.
She has been convicted of multiple offences since 2002, including three for drinking and driving. She was sentenced to five months in jail in 2009 for assault with a weapon.
The judge said Saunders failed to take responsibility for her actions. He did, however, make note of Saunders’ efforts to improve her situation since her arrest, mentioning the addictions and healthy relationships programs Saunders completed and her recent involvement in Alcoholics Anonymous.
Saunders was sentenced to two years plus one day in jail for her assault with a weapon charge, and one year concurrent for assault causing bodily harm.
Walsh applied two-month sentences to the other charges, but chose to let them run concurrently to each other and consecutive to the more serious charges based on the dates of their occurrence.
Some of the charges related to an incident earlier that March when she was charged with assaulting him, damaging property and resisting arrest.
Defence lawyer Michelle Coady had requested a sentence of three years with 1.5 times credit to take into account time Saunders spent in custody.
Walsh said it was unlikely Saunders would have been successful in applying for bail and chose to give Saunders straight-time credit for her 188 days in custody.
Altogether, Saunders has 727 days left to serve on her sentence.