WINNIPEG — A Manitoba woman who fatally stabbed her husband as their two young children slept has been sentenced to three years in prison.
Rose McDougall, who is 24, had already pleaded guilty to manslaughter for the slaying in April 2007 on the Wassagamack reserve in the province’s north.
Court heard the couple had spent the night at home with a friend drinking a potent home brew.
The couple started arguing after 23-year-old Raymond McDougall kicked the friend out of the house for drinking the last of the liquor.
His wife stabbed him two times in the chest, puncturing his lung and heart, and a third time in the stomach.
He staggered to his in-laws’ home where he collapsed, while his wife, still holding the bloody knife, walked out of her house with her two children at her side.
The Crown was looking for five years in prison, but the defence had argued a conditional sentence would be appropriate.
Defence lawyer John Corona said McDougall was sincerely remorseful, was a low risk to reoffend and had the support of community leaders.
The courts are obligated to consider reasonable alternatives to custody when sentencing aboriginal offenders in recognition of their background and over-representation in prisons.
But Court of Queen’s Justice Glenn Joyal said McDougall’s crime demanded a penitentiary sentence.
“As the Supreme Court of Canada has said … it is unreasonable to assume that aboriginal peoples do not believe in the principles of deterrence and denunciation,” Joyal said.
“The impact of an unlawful death is as disruptive and deeply felt in a northern First Nation community as such an unlawful death would be had it occurred anywhere else.” (Winnipeg Sun)