PRINCE ALBERT, SASK.—A man who sent his semi-naked wife into the cold on Christmas Day after an argument over turkey stuffing has been sentenced to five years in prison.
Clifford Arnold Daniels, 52, was convicted of assault causing bodily harm, unlawful confinement and uttering threats.
Crown prosecutor Maureen Longworth argued the Christmas incident was a calculated and premeditated assault that took place within a couple of hours.
Court was told Daniels and his common-law wife, Beverley Ermine, argued after Daniels started drinking whiskey.
At the time, she was preparing turkey stuffing for dinner the next day, but he told her he didn’t like stuffing and said she should cancel their plans.
That night, the couple drove to Daniels’ brother’s home for Christmas dinner, but Daniels changed his mind once they got to the residence.
Ermine tried to jump out of their moving van as it was leaving the yard because, she testified, Daniels had been threatening her.
Daniels grabbed Ermine back into the car, saying, “When we get home, I’ll finish you.”
When they arrived home, Daniels ripped off Ermine’s shirt and bra and told her to stand outside wearing just pants and socks.
As a result of the abuse, Ermine suffered from frostbite on her feet, a dislocated left shoulder and a laceration on her nose.
“He has a lengthy history of violence against women who are his domestic partners and that is a concern for the Crown,” said Longworth.
Daniels already has 11 past convictions for assaults on mostly women, she told the court.
Defence attorney Candra Tannis told the court that Daniels came from an upbringing where he witnessed alcohol abuse. Tannis said that between the ages of 11 and 15, Daniels attended residential school, where he “suffered emotional, spiritual, physical and sexual abuse.”
She said he suffered from nightmares and anxiety due to his experience at the residential school, and only realized how much it was affecting his life several years ago.
Several other family members, including his brother and sister, were in the courtroom for the sentencing and made pleas on his behalf.
Tannis argued that Daniels wasn’t a man who was always in a rage, but that his violent tendencies came out when under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
“I made a lot of bad decisions before and bad choices,” said Daniels. “I’m sorry to the people that got affected by this.”
Tannis noted the victim still keeps in contact with Daniels and even visited him while he was in the Prince Albert Correctional Centre.
Longworth explained the victim is likely “caught up in the throes of domestic abuse.”
Judge Stephen Carter referred to the events of last Christmas as “horrific and methodical” and called them “frightening.”
“I hope this will deter you from other types of offences,” Carter said.