Suspended sentence in wounding case

Jury found woman guilty of wounding with intent

A woman who stabbed her partner was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment, but the judge suspended the sentence, citing the domestic dispute circumstances of the case. 

Justice Charles Quin sentenced Bridgett Ann Powell, 46, on Wednesday after a jury found her guilty of wounding with intent. 

“I’m sticking my neck out,” he told the defendant. “Don’t let me down.” 

Earlier, he remarked, “In the circumstances of this case, I’m going to break away from the guidelines. I think they don’t cater to this type of situation.”  

He described that situation as having all the ingredients of a classic domestic dispute. 

Powell and the man she stabbed had known each other from early adolescence and they became intimate at some point, the jury heard during the three-day trial in February. 

At the sentencing hearing, Crown counsel Kenneth Ferguson said the victim had admitted after he was stabbed that he was still attracted to Powell. Six months after her arrest, he texted salacious messages indicating that if she succumbed to his entreaties, he would not proceed with the prosecution.  

The stabbing occurred in May 2011, about a week after the couple had an argument. 

On the day of the incident, she sent him text messages. Mr. Ferguson said it was evidently the view of the jurors that Powell had lured the man to her house and inflicted the wound. “It was clear to the jury that she was the one who initiated the whole episode,” he said, adding that the man did not have a weapon. 

“He went there expecting something and got something else,” Mr. Ferguson suggested. 

Both Powell and her victim/partner gave evidence during the trial. He said he was stabbed at the door. She said he pushed his way in and she stabbed him in the kitchen in self-defense, using a knife that was in the kitchen. 

Justice Quin suggested that maybe the jury returned a guilty verdict on the basis that the self-defense was excessive. “We can’t know,” he pointed out.  

The man sustained a wound to his chest that required surgery. Defense attorney John Furniss said the man was in the hospital for 12 days because he got an infection, not because of the injury itself. 

Mr. Furniss noted Powell had expressed remorse and taken responsibility for the stabbing. She also said the man had been abusive to her and she had begun seeking counseling. 

Justice Quin said it was possible and not unreasonable to say that Powell had acted in self-defence, but went “over the top.”  

The judge described Powell’s and the man’s long-term domestic relationship was extremely rocky, robust and unpredictable. 

Justice Quin said he was taking into account the fact that Powell has held the same job for 10 years and supported her family. She had not been in any trouble for 15 years.  

He ordered her to pay $5,000 toward the man’s $15,000 hospital bill, over a 12-month period.  

He attached conditions to the suspended sentence, including attendance at the counseling center, completion of an anger management course and random drug and alcohol testing. 

“One has to look at individual circumstances rather than say a certain type of offense equals X number of years.”

JOHN FURNISS, defense attorney 


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