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

Robert Barron column: Homeless issues heat up as cold weather returns

Only about 30 per cent of those who are currently homeless have drug addictions.

VIDEO: New Met season at Cowichan Theatre features a great mix of new and old

We’ve got bodice rippers, hilarious comedies, and enough fire and brimstone to please any opera lover

Andrea Rondeau column: Lots of excitement in this fall’s municipal elections, with plenty of tight races

One thing that’s for certain is that there’s going to be a lot of new faces

Sarah Simpson column: Reunited and it feels so good

This is what happened when a budgie went into a liquor store

T.W. Paterson column: Upscale subdivision’s ‘silent neighbours’ recall grim past

“This is sort of an average people’s historic site”

Environment Canada confirms Ottawa area hit by two tornadoes Friday

At one point more than 200,000 hydro customers were blacked out

Cowichan Coffee Time: 4H, a marathon and fundraising

• A group of 4H-ers had a woolly good time at the… Continue reading

B.C. VIEWS: Looking under the hood of ICBC’s war on crashes

Is our accident rate really soaring, or is it inefficiency?

Coaches, players on Alberta university rugby team buckle up for the Broncos

16 people died when Humboldt Broncos bus collided with a semi-truck in rural Saskatchewan

The Vatican ‘owes God an apology,’ activist says in letter to Pope Francis

Letter came after a report on sexual abuse of more than 1,000 children in six Pennsylvania dioceses

Lions earn stunning 35-32 OT win over Ticats

Epic comeback lifts B.C. past Hamilton in CFL thriller

Czarnik nets 3 as Flames dump Canucks 5-2

Calgary picks up exhibition win over Vancouver

Ottawa to name new ambassador for women, peace and security, Freeland says

Chrystia Freeland also confirmed Canada would spend about $25 million to fund number of initiatives

Most Read