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

It’s the last day to vote in B.C.’s referendum on electoral reform

Ballots must now be dropped off in person to meet the deadline of 4:30 p.m.

North Coast First Nation chief says one major oil spill could ruin economy forever

Chief Marilyn Slett of Heiltsuk Nation near Bella Bella is leading a delegation in Ottawa this week

How to decide what to vote for in B.C.’s referendum on electoral reform

Ballots are due at Elections BC on Friday, Dec. 7, at 4:30 p.m.

Northern Health investigates racist posts of possible employee

Facebook comments call for segregated health authorities

Lawyer for Chinese exec detained by Canada says it’s ‘inconceivable’ she would flee

Meng Wanzhou was detained at the request of the U.S. during a layover at the Vancouver airport

Omar Khadr to ask for Canadian passport to travel, permission to speak to sister

He spent years in U.S. detention at Guantanamo Bay after he was caught when he was 15

One of Tori Stafford’s killers transferred to medium-security prison

Michael Rafferty was sentenced to life in prison in 2012 in the kidnapping, sexual assault and first-degree murder of Tori Stafford

‘Abhorrent’ condition of autistic B.C. boy shows flaws in care system: report

‘Charlie’ was underweight and ‘covered in feces’ when he was removed from his mom’s care

Military closes book on oft-criticized support unit for ill, injured troops

The transition unit will provide support and services to military members struggling with physical and mental injuries so they can return to work.

Vancouver Canucks rookie Elias Pettersson named NHL’s first star of the week

Canucks centre scored two goals and six assists in three games

Protester says Canada doing U.S. ‘dirty work’ outside Huawei exec’s bail hearing

The U.S. wants to extradite Meng to face fraud allegations after Canada arrested the high-profile technology executive.

Break-in at home of detained Chinese Huawei executive

Meng Wanzhou was detained in Vancouver on America’s request

Most Read