Man sen­tenced to house ar­rest for as­sault with a weapon

Lethbridge Herald - - Hometown News - Delon Shurtz LETH­BRIDGE HER­ALD

APincher Creek man who twice as­saulted his com­mon-law spouse, once with a Sa­mu­rai sword, is al­lowed to serve a cus­to­dial sen­tence in his home. Michael Pat­ter­son was placed on house ar­rest for six months af­ter he pleaded guilty Mon­day in Leth­bridge pro­vin­cial court to two counts of as­sault with a weapon.

The charges stem from two in­ci­dents in 2019 when the cou­ple and their two young chil­dren lived in north­ern Alberta. Court was told the 32-year-old man and his spouse were ar­gu­ing in the car when he threw her purse out the win­dow. She man­aged to re­trieve it, but when the fam­ily re­turned home he pinned her to the bed and held a sword to her neck.

On an­other oc­ca­sion he took sev­eral swipes at her with a knife, nar­rowly miss­ing her, but punc­tur­ing sev­eral holes in their couch.

“The look on his face was ter­ri­fy­ing,” the woman said in a lengthy vic­tim im­pact state­ment, which the judge read in court.

The woman said she felt trapped and de­scribed a re­la­tion­ship straight out of a hor­ror movie in which Pat­ter­son con­trolled ev­ery as­pect of her life. He choked her, tried to stab her with a steak knife, pulled her down the stairs, threat­ened to drown her and rape her, stole her car, de­stroyed her be­long­ings, drained her sav­ings ac­count, and even took money from his chil­dren to buy video games.

“He’s taken money out of my kids’ piggy bank,” she wrote.

She was al­lowed to shop for gro­ceries once a month with what­ever money he hadn’t taken, but there was usu­ally only enough to buy ba­sic sta­ples, such as rice, noo­dles and bread. Veg­eta­bles and fruit were a rare lux­ury. Pat­ter­son rarely worked, and of­ten lied to his boss to avoid work­ing, and he wouldn’t let her work be­cause he did not trust her.

The woman said she had given Pat­ter­son “chance af­ter chance” to change, and some­times he would apol­o­gize, but then he would snap and do it all again. He threat­ened to beat his chil­dren, as well as the woman’s par­ents and grand­par­ents, and burn down their homes.

The fam­ily lived in the Peace River area at the time of the as­saults, but later moved to Pincher Creek where Pat­ter­son pleaded guilty to sim­i­lar of­fences. The cou­ple sep­a­rated af­ter that, but the woman still lives in fear.

“I will feel scared for me and my fam­ily for the rest of our lives.”

Judge John Ma­her read the woman’s en­tire vic­tim im­pact state­ment even though, he pointed out, it con­tains al­le­ga­tions that have not been proven in court and are not rel­e­vant to the charges to which Pat­ter­son pleaded guilty Mon­day.

Leth­bridge lawyer Clau­dia Con­nolly ex­plained Pat­ter­son was un­know­ingly suf­fer­ing from de­pres­sion and other men­tal health is­sues, and was fi­nally ad­mit­ted to the psy­chi­atric unit at the Chi­nook Re­gional Hos­pi­tal in Leth­bridge for treat­ment.

“I’m very sorry for all that stuff,” Pat­ter­son re­sponded, when asked by the judge if he wanted to say any­thing be­fore he was sen­tenced.

As part of his six-month con­di­tional sen­tence, Pat­ter­son must be­have him­self, re­main in Alberta, and avoid con­tact with his former com­mon-law spouse and chil­dren un­less al­lowed by the court. He is pro­hib­ited from pos­sess­ing weapons, and he must sub­mit a sam­ple of his DNA for the Na­tional DNA Data­bank.

Fol­low @DShurtzHer­ald on Twit­ter

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