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Assault victim felt betrayed by the Corner Brook man who attacked her

Robert Hicks is seen in provincial court in Corner Brook on Thursday.
Robert Hicks is seen in provincial court in Corner Brook on Thursday. - Diane Crocker

As a young woman left the Corner Brook courthouse on Thursday afternoon she said was glad that the ordeal she’s faced for the past year and half was over.

Still, she felt the two-years-less-one-week conditional sentence handed to Robert Hicks, a man who violently assaulted her and threated her life, was not enough.

The sentence, which Hicks will serve under house arrest, was a joint submission of the Crown and Hicks’s defence counsel that was endorsed by Judge Kymil Howe only minutes before.

Hicks was convicted in December of 15 charges that included assault, assault with a weapon, being unlawfully in a house, uttering threats to cause death or bodily harm, unlawful confinement and two breaches of a court order.

A publication ban is in place that prevents providing any information that could identify the woman.

The assaults against her took place in different locations on Aug. 1, 15 and 16, 2016.

As Howe reviewed the details of the assaults she noted that Hicks hit the woman’s head off the window of a car, hit her legs with a stick, slapped and punched her, choked her, held a knife to her throat, alternated between telling her he loved her and he was going to kill her, and told her if he killed her no one would find her body. During one assault he put a pellet gun in her mouth.

The woman submitted a victim impact statement to the court. In it she said her trust had been broken and she now has difficulty starting and keeping a relationship. She described herself as now being withdrawn and distant. At the time she said she felt fear, confusion and shock and feels betrayed by Hicks.

While Howe felt that in this case the joint submission of one year and 51 weeks was appropriate she did point out in her decision that there are times when a judge can reject a joint submission.

She said the sentence proposed was lengthy with stringent conditions.

For the first three months of his sentence Hicks cannot be outside his home unless he is in the presence of one of his parents. After that he is only allowed out to attend work or school, or for medical, legal or dental appointments. He is to have no contact with his victim and must remain away from a Corner Brook mall and its parking lot.

At the end of his conditional sentence he’ll be placed on probation for 12 months, with some of the conditions of his sentence carrying over.

He must submit a sample of his DNA and is subject to a firearms prohibition for 10 years.

He also has to pay $2,500 in victim fine surcharges to the court.

Hicks sat quietly next to his parents as the sentence was delivered. When asked by Howe if he had any questions, he said he did not.

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