A former North Vancouver man has been sent to jail for three and a half years after pleading guilty to a violent sexual assault on his former girlfriend.
In sending the man to prison, Justice Murray Blok of the B.C. Supreme Court said the sentence was needed to condemn "the prolonged, degrading and, indeed, torture-like nature of the sexual assault in question."
The judge said the jail sentence was also needed to protect the public, noting a psychologist considered the perpetrator to still be at moderate risk of "imminent physical violence towards others."
The assault happened in the couple's North Vancouver apartment seven years ago. According to court documents, the attacker erupted into a rage after he had been drinking, smashing objects in the apartment and displaying signs of paranoia. He then began a two-hour attack that included what the judge described as "a lengthy and seriously degrading series of assaults and threats" on the woman.
During the assault, the attacker made several statements that he was going to force the victim to work for him as a prostitute, called her a "whore" and said he would snap her neck. He also said he might end up putting a bullet in her head.
When the man finally fell asleep, the woman escaped the apartment and went to the RCMP detachment, where she appeared shaking and crying. She later went to a women's shelter.
A Crown prosecutor said the woman still has nightmares about the incident and finds it difficult to leave her house.
The attacker - who cannot be named in order to protect the identity of the victim - is described in the sentencing documents as an alcoholic and crack user who becomes angry and aggressive when drinking or doing drugs. His defence lawyer described many of his problems as stemming from a previous violent attack on him, which resulted in a brain injury.
The judge noted the man has a criminal history going back to the mid 1980s. In sending the man to jail, the judge said, "There is a pressing need to denounce the offences in the strongest terms."
The man will also be put on the sexual offender registry for 20 years.