KELOWNA – While his duct-taped victim begged for her life, Jean-Francois Dufour drove around the Central Okanagan and threatened to kill her.
The two had met online weeks prior and even went on several dates before Aug. 12, when according to judge James Threlfall "his demeanor changed."
“He attacked the victim, straddled her, duct-taped her mouth and her hands and threatened to kill her and her family,” he said in Kelowna court May 15. “He tried to force a kiss on her but otherwise did not assault her.”
For several hours while he drove from Peachland to Kelowna to Lake Country, Dufour, 37, told the woman he was a hitman. He duct taped her hands and mouth and kept a large serrated hunting knife in his lap.
“She begged for her life,” Crown lawyer Mallory Tredennick said.
Eventually he drove her back to Peachland and was arrested Aug. 18.
Dufour has no criminal record and his lawyer Grant Gray called the incident “inexplicable.”
“Clearly he was overcome with some mental health problems at the time this happened,” Gray said.
A psychological report prepared in advance says Dufour suffers from depression and anxiety but a full diagnosis was not completed.
Dufour pleaded guilty to unlawful confinement and uttering threats and today, May 15 was sentenced to 14 months in jail.
In custody since Aug. 18, and with enhanced credit for time spent awaiting trial, he will serve two weeks new time before being released on two-years’ probation.
The victim, Threlfall said, now suffers from severe depression and anxiety, has permanent scars on her face from the duct tape and “lives in constant fear.”
He called Dufour a “vicious predator” with “minimal insights into his mental illness.”
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