CORNER BROOK — The woman who suffered a serious beating from her boyfriend wants their relationship to continue, but it will likely be a long time before they can be together.
Dennis Allan Rowsell, 38, has been in custody since being arrested for the aggravated assault of his partner on Nov. 8, 2011.
While in custody, Rowsell was convicted of six charges, including assault and uttering threats, for two separate incidents last April and September. He was sentenced to six months in prison and finished serving that time April 17, but remains in cusstody for the current offences.
He had been charged with a dozen offences in relation to the assault on the woman who was living with him, and was supposed to go to trial in late April. However, Rowsell changed his pleas to guilty on six of those charges, with the rest expected to be withdrawn once convictions were entered.
Back in court for facts and sentencing Thursday, Judge Catherine Allen-Westby convicted Rowsell of aggravated assault, assault with a weapon, uttering threats and three breaches of court orders.
Allen-Westby heard how the woman was awoken by an intoxicated Rowsell beating her. He choked her at one point, struck her with a chair and punched and kicked her.
The court heard how the woman, fearful for her life, tried to go to a window and get the attention of anyone who might have been outside the home. That did not work, but she eventually was able to exit the home and get help from a neighbour.
Allen-Westby heard how Rowsell was not co-operative with the police when they arrested him. He was belligerent and even put his bloodied pants in the toilet and flushed it.
The woman had severe injuries to her face, including bruising and swelling. She also had lacerations to the back of her head that required suturing.
Crown attorney Trina Simms said the extent of the assault was "extreme," considering the victim had been sleeping when attacked and endured a savage beating.
The woman did not complete a formal victim impact statement, but did provide a letter to the court that said she wishes to continue to have contact with Rowsell. Simms, who asked that Rowsell be imprisoned for between 30 and 36 months, said she would not be asking for any exemption to the no-contact order between the two currently in place.
Defence lawyer Jamie Luscombe, who submitted that his client should receive between 22 and 28 months in prison, said the lengthy sentence he is bound to receive would mean that any contact between the two would be in a controlled environment for the foreseeable future.
He said that, should the woman wish to no longer be in contact with Rowsell during his period of incarceration, all she would have to do is hang up the phone.
Luscombe said that, although they obviously have some issues to work out, this couple wants to stay together.
He said his client may have a lengthy criminal record of related offences, including assault, uttering threats and breaching court orders, but that most of his crimes have been alcohol-fueled and that Rowsell has taken steps towards addressing his issues with drinking.
Luscombe also asked that Rowsell be given one and a half days credit for every day he has served in custody since finishing his previous sentence April 17. Those three months would add up to 137 days if that formula is applied.
Allen-Westby will render her decision on the length of the sentence and the no-contact order July 5.