Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Nine years for brutal sexual assault

Woman walking with crutches dragged by neck into apartment

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A man who brutally raped a woman for several hours after dragging her off the street by her neck in August 2011 was given a nine-year prison sentence.

Norman Cook, 40, showed no emotion when he was sentenced Monday morning.

Queen's Bench Justice Christopher Martin said that after finding Cook guilty at a trial in February of kidnapping, sexual assault and choking, Cook had shown no remorse nor taken any responsibility for the attack.

Martin said the victim, who was then 43, continues to suffer from psychological and physical damages as a result of the attack, which he described as "a vile, sordid assault."

Court previously heard the victim was hobbling along Main Street in the North End just after 2 a.m., using crutches and one arm in a cast, when Cook jumped her, grabbed her by the neck and dragged her off into his nearby apartment on Austin Street.

Cook, a short, heavy-set man, dragged the woman into his bedroom, blocked the door with a fridge and then repeatedly beat her and forced her to engage in various sexual acts over several hours.

Martin said the woman only managed to escape after Cook fell asleep, squeezing past the fridge and hobbling back out onto Main Street, naked from the waist down, where she called police from a pay phone.

Martin said police found the woman in hysterics, but she managed to point them to Cook's apartment.

Placed in the cruiser car, she curled up into a fetal position, traumatized and shaken.

While she testified at trial, the woman did not attend the sentencing hearing earlier this month.

Crown prosecutor Mitchell Lavitt had proposed a 10-year sentence, while defence counsel Theodore Mariash said a more appropriate sentence was a five-year term.

Cook had an extensive record of petty property crimes, but his last offence was in 2001.

Since having spent one year and four months of pretrial custody, Martin said Cook will still have to spend another seven years and eight months in prison.

aldo.santin@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 23, 2013 A7

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