Sunday, July 26, 2009

Manitoba 1st Nations man sentenced to 4 years for beating "girlfriend"

Three days of terror
Man jailed for giving woman 'severe, long beating'

Last Updated: 24th July 2009, 11:44am

A Garden Hill First Nation man who subjected his ex-girlfriend to three days of terror and violence has been sentenced to four years in prison.

Jason Knott, 28, pleaded guilty to aggravated assault, assault, uttering threats, theft and two counts of breaching court orders he have no contact with the woman.

"This is a severe, long beating -- those are the only words to describe it," said Judge Linda Giesbrecht. "You have absolutely no regard for the feelings of another human being."

The 25-year-old victim told Knott in January 2008 she was breaking off their 18-month long relationship when Knott invited her to his home "for one last kiss," Crown attorney Wendy Friesen told court.

Shortly after her arrival, Knott gouged her eyes with his thumbs and punched her in the head. Knott held her captive until the next morning when he became apologetic and offered to take her to Winnipeg. Knott and the victim boarded a plane for Winnipeg that same day and rented a room at the Maryland Hotel.

Knott's contrition was short-lived. The two began drinking heavily and Knott resumed his attack on the woman, punching and kicking her repeatedly in the face. The woman locked herself in the bathroom when Knott threatened to throw her out a window, Friesen said.

"What's six years (in prison)?" Knott told the woman. "It's a walk in the park."

Fearing Knott would make good on his threats to kill her, the woman exited the bathroom only to be beaten again, Friesen said. The next day, Knott punched, kicked and dragged the woman as they walked in the vicinity of McPhillips Street Station casino. Knott robbed the woman of her bank card and told her: "Now you're not going anywhere."

Casino staff came to the woman's assistance after part of the attack was caught on security video. The woman was treated at hospital for a broken jaw, cheekbone, eye sockets and nose and extensive bruising to her entire body.

Police arrested Knott 10 days later after he turned up drunk at the Health Sciences Centre.
Knott has 29 criminal convictions, including two for assaulting the same victim.
Defence lawyer John Corona had little to say in Knott's favour, and blamed his actions on an upbringing "rife with domestic violence and alcohol abuse."

"He clearly has anger management issues when he drinks and control issues in relation to women," Corona said. "This is the way he was brought up."

Knott claimed he was drunk and had no memory of the most recent assaults.
"If you are drinking you are a very dangerous, violent man," Giesbrecht said.

Giesbrecht credited Knott the double-time equivalent of two years time served, reducing his remaining sentence to two years

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