P.A. at­tacker not de­clared a dan­ger­ous of­fender

Saskatoon StarPhoenix - - CITY + REGION - The Cana­dian Press

PRINCE AL­BERT A man who vi­ciously beat a home­less woman be­fore set­ting her on fire will not be de­clared a dan­ger­ous of­fender.

Les­lie Black pleaded guilty to at­tempted mur­der in the beat­ing, burn­ing and sex­ual as­sault of Mar­lene Bird in an al­ley in Prince Al­bert in 2014. Her in­juries were so se­ri­ous both legs had to be am­pu­tated and she lost much of her eye­sight.

“He’ll do that to some­body else,” said Bird, who is 50, out­side court on Wed­nes­day.

“He’s got to learn not to treat women like that.”

She said it was painful to see her at­tacker but she felt it was im­por­tant for Black to see her.

“He just looked at me and looked down,” Bird said. “Didn’t say sorry.”

Judge Stan­ley Loewen noted in his rul­ing that af­ter the 2014 at­tack, Black walked to a nearby 7-Eleven and bought candy. Black then walked past Bird, who was still on fire, and ig­nored her.

It was sev­eral hours be­fore Bird was dis­cov­ered. She was barely cling­ing to life, with burns so se­vere they ex­posed her fa­cial bones.

Loewen ruled that while Black’s bru­tal crime war­rants a lengthy jail sen­tence and a long-term su­per­vi­sion or­der, his risk to re­of­fend could be man­aged in the com­mu­nity.

Loewen is ex­pected to sen­tence Black on Sept. 22.

In June, Bird told court she can’t do any­thing on her own now, in­clud­ing sim­ple things such as pick­ing a blue­berry or us­ing the bath­room.

In hand­writ­ten let­ters filed with the court, Bird said she has to wear adult di­a­pers, can’t con­trol her bow­els and feels dis­gusted with her­self when she can’t make it to the bath­room in time. Bird said she also fears en­ter­ing the city be­cause of the at­tack.

In a brief state­ment, which Black read de­spite a stut­ter he has had since wit­ness­ing his mother’s mur­der when he was nine years old, Black said he un­der­stands that Bird and her fam­ily have not for­given him.

“I apol­o­gize for what I did,” he said at the time. “I still can’t for­give my­self.”

A psy­chi­a­trist told the dan­ger­ous of­fender hear­ing that Black has at least eight sep­a­rate con­di­tions, in­clud­ing anti-so­cial per­son­al­ity dis­or­der, child­hood at­ten­tion deficit hyper­ac­tiv­ity dis­or­der and suspected fe­tal al­co­hol spec­trum dis­or­der.

Black’s de­fence lawyer ar­gued his client’s ac­tions were bru­tal, but said that does not mean Black will vi­o­lently of­fend again.

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