A “toxic relationship” fraught with alcohol and drug abuse, assaults and ignorance of court orders has landed a man in jail for two years.
The 33-year-old man, whose name is withheld because of a court-ordered publication ban on identifying his ex-girlfriend, pleaded guilty to 18 charges in Red Deer provincial court on Thursday. The charges included assault with a weapon, unlawful confinement, breach of recognizance, assault, mischief and uttering threats. The charges stem from several incidents that occurred over a one-month period during the summer of 2013.
The man was first arrested on July 28 after his ex-girlfriend complained to police on July 19 about a July 18 incident. That night, an argument turned into an assault at the couple’s shared residence. Crown Prosecutor Jason Snider said the man hit and punched the victim, with as many as 30 blows to the head. The victim had a black eye and a small puncture wound in her leg.
When she attempted to flee the apartment, he grabbed her and dragged her back in. When police attended the apartment the following day they found a knife under the futon, a pair of yoga pants with a hole and a torn tank top from when the man grabbed her.
He was apprehended on July 28 and released with conditions, including not to consume alcohol and not to go to the apartment.
On Aug. 3, the victim initiated contact with the man. He went to the apartment and they reconciled and drank together. However, things escalated again, they argued, and she left the apartment and went to a friend’s place. When she returned, the man was still in the apartment and the argument resumed until another assault occurred. Again she tried to leave but was prevented from doing so.
A week later, the man texted the victim that he had broken into the apartment. Later in the day, the victim returned home and fell asleep on the couch. When she awoke, the man was standing over her with a knife, demanding to know why she hadn’t returned his text messages. He had entered through the window and cut the screen. The victim also believed the man had broken the lock on the door, removing screws so he could get in easier.
On Aug. 15, the victim was heading home and believed the man to be in her apartment. She phoned her mother and told her to call the police if she didn’t hear from her in 20 minutes.
When she entered the apartment, she found the man on her balcony. After arguing again, the victim went to the bathroom only to have the man follow her and start beating her. She attempted to flee over the balcony but the man chased her, took her down and continued beating her, even putting his hands around her neck. Police arrived but the man had fled.
On Aug. 17 and 18, the man called the victim and said he was coming over in hopes of reconciliation. Police went to the man’s mother’s residence and he tried to flee, but was arrested.
Snider recommended a two-year global sentence. The man’s defence counsel, Nicole Sissons of Edmonton, called it a textbook dysfunctional relationship, fueled by alcohol and drug abuse, and agreed with Snider’s recommendations. She said the man’s family has a history of mental illness and suggested the two-year prison sentence would give the man access to the help he needs.
Judge Bert Skinner accepted the joint submission and sentenced the man to two years in jail, plus a 10-year firearms prohibition and a DNA order.