Alexandria Harnum sentenced to two years in prison

Judge hopes she will be placed in forensic psychiatric facility to get the help she needs

Published on March 4, 2014
Alexandria Harnum in provincial court in St. John’s Thursday.
— Photo by Rosie Gillingham/The Telegram

A woman with severe psychiatric issues and a troubled upbringing has been sentenced to just over two years in prison.

Judge Lois Skanes told Alexandria Harnum in provincial court in St. John’s today that she hopes Harnum will be placed in a forensic psychiatric facility where she can get the help she needs.

Taking in account her 37 days remanded in custody, Harnum has 773 days remaining to serve.

Harnum, 22, pleaded guilty to assaulting two nurses, multiple sheriff’s officers and a bar owner. She entered guilty pleas on 13 charges in all.

Harnum has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, psychosis and traits of anti-social personality disorder.

Two psychiatrists who testified during Harnum's sentencing hearing told the court that neither the Newfoundland and Labrador Correctional Centre for Women in Clarenville, nor the Waterford Hospital in St. John’s are equipped to deal with her complex needs.

The court was previously told about Harnum's troubled childhood. She spent time in multiple foster homes. Her mother was diagnosed with schizophrenia. Harnum started smoking at the age of three years and has a Grade 5 education.

During this afternoon's sentencing, Harnum sometimes spoke at the same time Skanes was giving her decision on sentencing. Harnum cursed at one point and asked the judge to hurry up with her decision.

Skanes politely asked if she could remain quiet while giving her decision.

Harnum later wept as Skanes spoke.