Former military man with PTSD sentenced for trying to strangle daughter

A former member of the Canadian military who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder has been sentenced to four years in prison for choking his 17-year-old daughter until he thought she was dead.

HALIFAX — A former member of the Canadian military who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder has been sentenced to four years in prison for choking his 17-year-old daughter until he thought she was dead.

Robin Andrew Clifford of New Glasgow, N.S., was originally charged with attempted murder but pleaded guilty to aggravated assault.

Clifford had admitted saying to his daughter: “I wish you would … die already.” He also told police he had been thinking about stabbing her.

One psychologist told the court that Clifford’s mental illness appears to be linked to his career with the Canadian Armed Forces.

Nova Scotia provincial court Judge Del Atwood said the 45-year-old had experienced a tragic life after he left the military. He was later diagnosed with PTSD, a major depressive disorder and a panic disorder associated with agoraphobia — the irrational fear of crowded spaces.

“His years in military service were very tough,” Atwood said in his decision. “Mr. Clifford’s civilian life has been very unhappy, and it affected his family profoundly.”

Clifford and his wife separated in April 2013, the judge said.

Court heard Clifford and his daughter were smoking marijuana on Nov. 30, 2014, when an argument ensued. Clifford later told police he pushed her off a chair, placed his hands around her throat and tried to choke her to death.

When he thought she was dead, he called 911 and told police he was sure he had killed the teen.

The girl has since fully recovered from the attack.

The judge said there were several mitigating factors in the case, including Clifford’s lack of a criminal record, his honourable discharge from the military, his co-operation with police and a pre-sentence report that indicated his actions were out of character.

As well, a psychologist assessed Clifford as a low risk to reoffend in a violent way.

However, the judge said that attacking someone under the age of 18 was an aggravating factor.

Both the Crown and defence recommended a four-year sentence, which the judge accepted, saying Clifford would receive 90 days credit for time already served.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19: First death confirmed in central zone, provincial cases reach 1,250

Alberta government confirmed a first death in the central zone Sunday. The… Continue reading

COVID-19 case reported at supermarket in Wetaskiwin

Sobeys will not release names to protect employees

WATCH: Red Deer emergency call centre hours change starting next week

Hours at the City of Red Deer’s COVID-19 emergency call centre will… Continue reading

Alberta Health Services provides COVID-19 prevention tips

Alberta Health Services has a number of recommendations for people amid the… Continue reading

Alberta government website has latest COVID-19 statistics

Red Deer Advocate readers can stay up to date on the COVID-19… Continue reading

Quebec Walmart worker struck by driver allegedly angered by COVID-19 measures

SHERBROOKE, Que. — A Walmart security guard from southern Quebec was fighting… Continue reading

Boeing to continue production shutdown due to coronavirus

Company is extending its planned two-week shutdown

Bars, cannabis sector eligible for $40B credit program from government bank

Applicants must go through their own banks to access the program

Actress-activist Shirley Douglas, daughter of medicare’s Tommy Douglas, dies

‘Sadly she had been battling for her health for quite some time’

Canada looking to disinfect used masks, Tam asks they not be thrown away

Best defence against COVID-19 is to stay home as much as possible, wash their hands frequently

With workers at home, feds eye ways to fast-track training program, groups say

How to help workers stuck at home or out of work to prevent their skills from becoming

Most Read