Defence lawyer Tonii Roulston speaks to the media in Red Deer, Alta., Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

‘I am a survivor:’ Sexual assault victim tells court

The woman’s victim impact statement was read in an Alberta courtroom today

An Alberta woman who was so badly beaten during a sexual assault that she had to learn how to walk and talk again says there have been times when she wished her attacker had “finished her off.”

The woman’s victim impact statement was read in a Lethbridge courtroom at the sentencing hearing of Denzel Dre Colton Bird.

Bird, who is 21, pleaded guilty last fall to striking the then-25-year-old woman from behind with a metal pipe, dragging her into an alley and sexually assaulting her while she was walking to work in September 2016.

The blows caused multiple skull fractures and fractured her facial bones as well.

The woman, who was in a separate courtroom with her family, said she struggles with her emotions, has trouble with her balance and contracted a sexually transmitted disease from Bird.

She said her life has been changed forever.

“I am not the same person I was,” she said in her statement. “It all seems like a horrible story I went through, but I have no memory.”

However, she added that she is glad to have survived.

“I’m more alive than ever. He hasn’t taken away my will to live. I am a survivor.”

A passerby discovered the woman, partially naked and stuffed into a garbage can, and she was taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries. She was in a medically induced coma for weeks in a Calgary hospital. She was released a year ago and her family has said she continues to recover, although she has no memory of the attack.

Police have said there was no apparent connection between Bird and his victim.

Bird pleaded guilty last September to aggravated sexual assault and break and enter.

The maximum sentence for aggravated sexual assault is life in prison.

The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Penticton’s second Snakebite festival hits the screen Jan. 31

Snakebite Film Festival showing LBGT, Indigenous and other diverse films

LETTER: Funds were borrowed from ICBC and B.C. Hydro

Method helped government hype but depleted needed money in the corporations

LETTER: Questions raised about high docks in Summerland

Public docks were replaced following damage from flooding on Okanagan Lake

Crosswalk coming to intersection near Penticton events centre

After years of plans a crosswalk is expected to be built on Alberni Street on Highway 97 this year

EDITORIAL: Revisiting Banks Crescent

Summerland had earlier considered controversial development at same location

VIDEO: Students in MAGA hats mock Native American at Indigenous Peoples March

Diocese in Kentucky says it is investigating the matter, caught on video by onlookers

Want to avoid the speculation tax on your vacant home? Rent it out, Horgan says

Premier John Horgan and Sheila Malcolmson say speculation and vacancy tax addresses homelessness

CONSUMER REPORT: What to buy each month in 2019 to save money

Resolve to buy all of the things you want and need, but pay less money for them

UPDATE: B.C. woman and boy, 6, found safe, RCMP confirm

Roseanne Supernault says both she and her six-year-old nephew are fine and she has contacted police

PHOTOS: Women’s Marches take to the streets across B.C. and beyond

Women and allies marched worldwide protesting violence against women, calling for equality

Anxiety in Alaska as endless aftershocks rattle residents

Seismologists expect the temblors to continue for months, although the frequency has lessened

Women’s March returns across the U.S. amid shutdown and controversy

The original march in 2017, the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, drew hundreds of thousands of people

Federal Liberals announce former B.C. MLA as new candidate in byelection

Richard Lee will face off against federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh

No winning ticket in $10 million Lotto Max jackpot

No win in Friday night’s draw means the next Lotto Max draw will be approximately $17 million

Most Read