Email this articleE-mail this story  Discuss this articleWrite letter to editor  Discuss this articleOrder a classified ad  Print this page

Sister didn't recognize woman after beating

Northern News Services

Yellowknife (Dec 11/06) - The man who beat a Behchoko woman so badly that her sister was unable to recognize her will spend up to three-and-a-half more years in prison.

Gary Football, also from Behchoko, was sentenced Dec. 4 to a total of six years in prison after he pleaded guilty to a charge of aggravated assault. Crown counsel stayed charges of aggravated sexual assault and forcible confinement that were also laid in connection to the Aug. 21-23 incident.

In his sentencing, Chief Justice Ted Richard credited Football with 32 months for the 16 months he had spent at the North Slave Correctional Facility awaiting trial. That means Football could serve another three-and-a-half years in prison.

Football pleaded guilty at the start of his jury trial on Monday, which was scheduled to last two weeks.

According to an agreed statement of facts submitted to court, Football and the victim had been in Yellowknife drinking on Aug. 20, 2005. They returned to Behchoko separately.

According to the statement, when the victim arrived home after a period of "substantial drinking," Football hit her on the head, causing her to black out.

When the woman awoke, she could not walk or see. She was vomiting. She asked Football to let her go to see a nurse and he replied that she looked okay.

According to the court document, the woman suffered "several and various assaults" by Football from Aug. 21-23, 2005. The assaults included, according to the victim, Football banging her head repeatedly against the floor.

After two days, the victim managed to leave the house and go to a neighbours' home where she telephoned her sister.

When her sister arrived, the victim's face was swollen, she was bleeding from the mouth, and her eyes were swollen shut, according to court documents. She was unrecognizable to her sister.

The victim was taken to the Behchoko Health Centre, then transported to Stanton Territorial Hospital by ambulance, and finally air-lifted to the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Edmonton.

The victim's injuries included head trauma, collapsed lungs, bruises and lacerations and she needed to undergo surgery.