A 29-year-old Labrador man was sentenced to four years in jail after attacking and sexually assaulting his girlfriend’s sister.
The sentence was handed down by Justice Frances Knickle in Happy Valley-Goose Bay Supreme court on Aug. 16.
The victim was walking home after an evening of socializing when she ran across another man and the accused. She stopped to talk to them and the other man left. According to the facts of the case, the man then made advances towards the victim and she refused. She left and he chased her, knocking her to the ground. He then repeatedly åpunched her until she succumbed to sexual assault. The assault only stopped when another person arrived.
“C.D. (the victim) was badly bruised, swollen and scratched in the facial area, and also had a bruise on her leg,” Knickle said in her decision. “The pictures tendered at trial of the injuries to C.D. and the state of her clothes speak for themselves. The photos of the area where the assault occurred also appeared to have blood on the ground.”
Knickle said while the injuries might not be on the more extreme end of the spectrum, the high level of violence in subduing her had to be taken into consideration.
She cited in her decision the accused was the boyfriend of the victim’s sister, a person she was entitled to feel safe around.
“Yet, he took advantage of her trust in him in this regard, and violently attacked her and forced her to have intercourse,” Knickle wrote.
The court also took into consideration the circumstances in the accused’s life, including his indigenous background and past tragedies, such as a parent’s suicide. He had no history of violent crime and a drinking problem, which Knickle acknowledged had a significant role in the assault.
“He has no previous history of violence of which I am aware,” she said. “The role alcohol may have played may explain the violent behavior. It does not excuse the behavior.”
The man was also given a 10-year firearm prohibition and was ordered to submit his DNA to the courts.