PENTICTON - The mother of a sexual assault victim in the dangerous offender sentencing hearing for David Bobbitt recalled the summer night her daughter went missing for hours, tortured by the man who held her captive.
Her daughter hadn't shown up to work or dropped off her then 22-month-old son at his grandparents’ house to be babysat July 30, 2011. She was also supposed to pick her mother up from work at 5:30 p.m. but didn’t show up. It wasn't like her, her mother said today in Penticton Supreme Court.
Several family members drove around town looking for the victim, but she couldn’t be found. Her mother called the police but they said she was a young girl and it was a long weekend, so there’s not telling what she could have been up to.
After hours of searching, friends called the family to report they found the victim’s car in a downtown parking lot with the windows still rolled down and a diaper bag inside. Her mother said she knew her daughter couldn’t be far. About ten family members searched the area around Ellis Street in downtown Penticton, until they heard noises coming from Dave’s Second Hand Shop on Ellis Street, her mother said.
There was still furniture and items on the sidewalk that hadn’t been brought in, and it was nearly midnight, which made them suspicious, she said.
Police were called and entered the building to find the victim and her son, who were then transferred to the hospital. The victim underwent surgery for the seven or eight bone-deep lacerations on her skull. Dr. Douglas McIver measured 52 centimetres of lacerations on the victim's skull and face that needed to be stapled, he said while on the witness stand this afternoon.
At the hospital, nurses were crying but all her mother could think was, “how could anyone be sad right now?”
“I was just so thankful she was alive,” she said. “Other things didn’t matter to me at that point.
The victim was released after three days in the hospital. She went home but couldn’t be left alone for months, her mother said.
“She was afraid of a lot of things,” she said. “She’s not the same.”
She also said the toddler is not the same after the incident. She said he becomes very alert and tense in the dark and has to sleep with a light on. And there was an incident where he took a plastic golf club toy and tried to hit his mother over the head with it while she was lying on the couch. He never behaved that way before, the mother said.
Bobbitt is being sentenced for the July 30, 2011 assault that took place over several hours in Bobbitt's second hand shop. He plead guilty last year to seven counts including sexual assault, confinement and aggravated assault. Evidence from this case and two other sexual assault cases is being heard before the court as part of the dangerous offender hearing.
Justice Peter Rogers will hear the evidence and determine whether Bobbitt's violent past is cause for him to be among a handful of criminals labelled as a dangerous offender — a person who has committed a serious personal injury, has a pattern of harming others physically and psychologically and is at risk to reoffend, according to the Canadian Criminal Code.
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