Seating in a Queen’s Bench courtroom filled up Monday as people came to support both the Saskatoon mother who stabbed her son during a custody dispute and the victim, who was six years old at the time.
In March 2013, police were called to a home in the 400 block of 9th Street East in the Nutana neighbourhood after the woman’s ex-husband said she wasn’t allowing him to pick up his two sons.
When officers arrived, the oldest boy, who was 10 at the time, answered the door and told them his mother and brother were in the bathroom and something was wrong. The mother-of-two was charged with attempted murder and aggravated assault after police found her and her youngest son bleeding from several stab wounds to the neck, abdomen and wrists. Police said the woman’s injuries were self-inflicted.
The 35-year-old offender, who cannot be named in order to protect her son’s identity, pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of aggravated assault on what was scheduled to be the first day of a week-long attempted murder trial.
Although sentencing will not take place until April, both the Crown and defence have recommended a five-and-a-half year prison term. Justice Gerald Allbright must decide if he will accept the joint-submission.
The defence asked for a month-long adjournment to allow the Saskatoon mother to attend her grandmother’s 95th birthday celebration.
But the Crown argued sentencing should have gone ahead this week.
“The matter is almost three years old now. The offender in this case was well-aware that this time was set aside for her matter to proceed. It’s the Crown’s position that there was no real reason to not proceed to sentencing today,” prosecutor William Collins said outside the courthouse.
Allbright allowed the woman to attend her family event before being sentenced. She has been out on bail with strict conditions and has behaved herself during her time out of custody, Allbright said. He also pointed out she will be facing a lengthy prison term and this may be her last chance to see certain family members.
The woman will remain out of custody until her sentencing, but not without a stern warning from the judge. Allbright reminded her to “conduct herself appropriately” and attend court. He also asked her to promise him that she will not harm herself knowing the sentence that has been put forward.
Details about the case and any psychiatric issues the offender may have will not be released until the sentencing hearing.