Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Homicide victim in violent relationship

He nearly died three years ago when his ex-girlfriend stabbed him

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Winnipeg's most recent homicide victim was a disabled man who nearly died three years ago when his ex-girlfriend stabbed him inside his apartment, the Free Press has learned.

Police have identified John David Goundry, 51, as the man they found dead in a suite in the 400 block of Elgin Avenue on Tuesday afternoon.

Thursday, forensic identification officers remained at the scene to collect and document evidence.

Though police aren't revealing how Goundry died, they are asking for the public's help to piece together his movements since the beginning of March.

No suspects have been identified yet, Det. Sgt. Natalie Aitken said.

Provincial court records show between 2009 and last summer, Goundry and a woman he'd dated for about three years were involved in several domestic-violence incidents.

Goundry's relationship with his ex was volatile, at times violent, and left him in fear for his safety.

'He's scared of (her). In his respectful opinion, (she's) never going to leave him alone'

-- Crown prosecutor Bruce Sychuk in 2011, of John Goundry's relationship with his ex-girlfriend

She was barred from having any contact with him.

Described in court as a quadriplegic with limited mobility, Goundry sought and was granted a court protection order against the woman in October 2009.

Despite the order, the two continued to have contact.

In November 2010, the woman was convicted of assaulting him and twice breaching the court order, netting her a five-month jail term and a year of supervised probation that further prohibited contact with Goundry.

Weeks after being sentenced and released from jail, however, the two were together again in Goundry's suite when an argument exploded.

She stabbed him in the chest with a 10-inch steak knife and fled. Goundry had to crawl outside his door to cry for help from neighbours.

He was rushed to hospital and underwent several emergency surgeries to fix a perforated artery behind his heart. He spent weeks there recuperating.

At the woman's sentencing for aggravated assault in July 2011, Crown prosecutor Bruce Sychuk said Goundry remained afraid of the woman. "He's scared of (her)," said Sychuk.

"In his respectful opinion, (she's) never going to leave him alone.

"He's concerned that when she gets out -- whenever that is -- this will continue."

The woman, whose background included long-term abuse and trauma, accused Goundry of using the justice system to abuse her.

"'I better stay with him, whether I like it or not,'" she said of threats Goundry made against her in the past.

She was sentenced to a further 171/2 months in jail, followed by 18 months of supervised probation, which included no contact with Goundry.

Goundry was convicted in 2010 of uttering threats against the woman in calls he made to police about the troublesome domestic situation.

He said he was going to stab her if she came knocking on his door again. "His frustration on this particular day was because it seemed the authorities are unable to keep this woman away from him," his then-lawyer, Randy Janis, said.

"He does seem to be somewhat the victim here," Judge Judith Elliott ruled.

She gave Goundry a suspended sentence that included a condition to stay away from the woman for a year.

After the woman was released from jail in 2012, she initiated peace-bond proceedings against Goundry, alleging he was harassing her and following her on his bike.

"(He) threatened to put me in jail if I didn't listen to him," she alleged.

A trial was set for last July to have a judge hear the woman's complaint. It was aborted when she failed to turn up to plead her case. Goundry, however, was present.

Thursday, Aitken said homicide officers probing Goundry's death were following all leads.

"We haven't closed the door on any part of the investigation. Nothing has been ruled out yet," she said.

Anyone with information about Goundry's activities or who had contact with him in March is asked to call the homicide unit at 204-986-6508 or Crime Stoppers at 204-786-TIPS.

james.turner@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 4, 2014 A5

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