A Lethbridge woman who viciously attacked two people on separate occasions, nearly killing one of them, will serve time in a federal penitentiary.
Lori Ann Cardinal was sentenced Thursday in Lethbridge provincial court to 45 months in prison on two charges of assault with a weapon, and one charge each of breaching a court order and failing to comply with conditions of her probation.
Crown prosecutor Lisa Weich told court an intoxicated Cardinal damaged an apartment door with a hammer, and when an unsuspecting woman opened the door the accused attacked her, striking her twice in the head with the claw end of the hammer. Cardinal called 911 but claimed she had been assaulted by nine people. Police quickly determined she was lying.
Then on Sept. 14 Cardinal was drinking with two other people when the two individuals got into a fight. When the fight ended, Cardinal stabbed one of the men in the back, ribs and stomach, nearly severing a primary artery. The man had to receive emergency surgery to his large intestine to stop internal bleeding.
Weich said the accused has 12 convictions for assault since 1999, including one against a peace officer, for which she received a six-month suspended sentence. The assaults, Weich pointed out, have grown in severity each time, and she recommended a prison term of five years for all the charges.
Defence lawyer Miranda Hlady suggested a sentence of 2 1/2 years, and said the accused has born into a violent home where she was abused physically and sexually by family members. She has also had violent relations with all her common-law partners, has suffered from substance abuse since she first starting drinking at the age of nine, and she has Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder.
Judge Timothy Hironaka said Cardinal failed to learn from her previous criminal charges and is lucky she wasn't facing a murder charge. He said her victims did not provoke the attacks but they "just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time."
Hironaka sentenced Cardinal to 30 months in prison for the knife attack and 15 months for the assault with the hammer, to be served consecutively to each other. He sentenced her to six months concurrently for each of the breach and failure to comply charges.
Cardinal must also submit a sample of her DNA for the National DNA Databank, and she is prohibited from possessing weapons and firearms for life. She simply shrugged her shoulders at that order.
During her sentencing Cardinal showed little emotion, staring straight ahead as the facts of her crimes were read in court. Occasionally she looked at someone in the courtroom and, as she was led out to begin her sentence, said to that person, "I'll call you tonight."