Warning: this story contains details about physical violence that readers may find disturbing
A Whitehorse man has pleaded guilty in a domestic abuse case that a senior prosecutor described as among the worst he’s ever seen.
The man, who can only be identified by his initials C. S., pleaded guilty in territorial court Sept. 25 to three counts of assault causing bodily harm and one count each of uttering threats, attempting to obstruct justice and breaching a no-contact order.
“Without intending to minimize the harmfulness of other domestic assault cases routinely before Yukon courts, the facts of the domestic abuse in this case are among the very worst I have encountered in my 25 year career as a lawyer,” Crown attorney Noel Sinclair wrote in an email to the News afterwards.
Sinclair told the court that the Crown intends to apply for either a long-term offender or dangerous offender designation for C.S. pending the production of a psychiatric report. A dangerous offender designation would mean the possibility of an indefinite sentence for C.S. while a long-term offender would mean the Crown could add a length probation term to any jail time.
Sinclair read an agreed statement of facts to the court containing a number of disturbing details following C.S.’s guilty plea.
C.S. and the victim met in early September 2017 when they were both 39, according to the document, and C.S. had moved into the victim’s apartment within a week of meeting her.
Between then and C.S.’s arrest on Dec. 3, 2017, C.S. inflicted “extreme offences of personal violence” on the victim, Sinclair said.
C.S. began physically and verbally abusing the victim within the same week that he moved in, with the abuse exclusively occurring when C.S. was intoxicated. He was remorseful for his actions when sober.
The abuse included severe physical violence and threatening to kill her and her family members.
The victim went to the emergency department at Whitehorse General Hospital three times during the relationship. Doctors documented significant bruising to her face, jaw, neck, chest, arms and legs.
She was also diagnosed with a concussion, a nasal bone fracture and several cracked ribs at various points.
During one assault, the victim attempted to defend herself with a large kitchen knife. C.S. took it from her, held it against her throat and asked her if she wanted to die. He also threatened her life on other occasions, stating that if she ever broke up with him, he would make her “disappear.”
Doctors and police officers who came into contact with the victim throughout the period said that she refused to disclose who had inflicted the abuse on her, afraid of retaliation.
The victim gave a statement to the RCMP on Dec. 3, 2017.
C.S. was arrested, but while at the Whitehorse Correctional Centre, made repeated attempts to contact the victim directly, or have friends and family members speak to her on his behalf.
He sent two letters to the victim in January 2018, telling her not to appear in court so the charges against him would be dropped.
C.S. also called the victim 240 times between January and May 2018, with 28 of those calls resulting in conversations.
He called her at a detox centre 113 times, telling her not to attend court and to recant her statement to the police.
He also called an “unknown female,” who told him she would “take care” of the situation and that there would be a recant, as well as multiple “unknown parties” in an effort to get them to contact the victim for him or to get the victim’s new cell phone number.
Judge Michael Cozens remanded C.S. back into custody to allow for the psychiatric assessment.
The case will return to court in December.
C.S. also pleaded guilty to one unrelated count of impaired driving during the proceedings. He was ordered to pay a $1,000 fine and also faces a 12-month-long driving ban.
Contact Jackie Hong at firstname.lastname@example.org