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.

Just Posted

Not a political question: Thunberg calls for climate action in Alberta

EDMONTON — Teen climate activist Greta Thunberg marched into the middle of… Continue reading

Alleged sex assault victim details struggles in proposed suit against Toronto school

TORONTO — A former student at an all-boys Catholic school in Toronto… Continue reading

Leaders trade accusations of desperation tactics as campaign heads down to wire

OTTAWA — The three main party leaders accused one another of desperation… Continue reading

Probation for some new Alberta bus, truck drivers after Broncos family pressure

EDMONTON — Alberta’s transportation minister says there will be a two-year probationary… Continue reading

Red Deer RCMP looking for missing 64-year-old woman

Red Deer RCMP are asking the public to help find a missing… Continue reading

WATCH: Red Deer Citizens on Patrol monitoring downtown with new program

Volunteers will patrol downtown Red Deer to help keep the city safe.… Continue reading

Your community calendar

Wednesday Red Deer River Naturalists Flower Focus Group Meeting. When: Oct. 16… Continue reading

Meet the candidates running in Red Deer-Mountain View

Each of the candidates running in the Red Deer-Mountain View riding were… Continue reading

Not a political question: Thunberg calls for climate action in Alberta

EDMONTON — Teen climate activist Greta Thunberg marched into the middle of… Continue reading

Red Deer Rebels struggle early, fall to Oil Kings

Oil Kings 5 Rebels 1 It’s been a tough stretch for the… Continue reading

Pick ’Em: No clear favourite on Canadian men’s curling scene this season

The days of just one or two Canadian men’s curling teams being… Continue reading

Brooke Henderson hits hole in 1, leads LPGA Shanghai

SHANGHAI — Canada’s Brooke Henderson hit a hole-in-one and shot a tournament… Continue reading

Alleged sex assault victim details struggles in proposed suit against Toronto school

TORONTO — A former student at an all-boys Catholic school in Toronto… Continue reading

Leaders trade accusations of desperation tactics as campaign heads down to wire

OTTAWA — The three main party leaders accused one another of desperation… Continue reading

Most Read