The defence lawyer for an Osoyoos woman who was charged with home invasion after she threatened a mother and her baby with a butcher knife argued mental health and severe alcohol abuse were factors in her bizarre behaviour last August.
Sharon Constance Forner appeared in Penticton court on Aug. 7 for a sentencing hearing. On April 12, she pleaded guilty to one count of break and enter to commit an indictable offence.
Forner was caught on security surveillance footage entering a home disguised in a wig in August 2018. Once inside, Forner produced a knife as the homeowner tried to get rid of her. Forner said, ‘I wanted to see the baby.’ Eventually, the homeowner pushed her into the yard and locked her door. Forner was arrested the next day.
In response to crown seeking 4 to 6 years, defence lawyer Justin Dosanjh argued a 16-month term and three years probation should be sufficient.
He argued that her severe addiction to alcohol and other substances, including suffering from mental illness and a “tragic life” that included emotional abuse culminated in her behaviour that day.
She does not have a history of violence and she recognizes that she has a problem and she wants to address it, according to Dosanjh. He said the judge should focus on her rehabilitation.
Crown prosecutor Ann Lerchs argued for a 4 to 6-year sentence, saying the concern is while Forner acknowledges her addiction and wants to address it, she blames it for her criminality. She also said Forner doesn’t have clear plans about how she will address her “severe” alcohol addiction. Crown said by not dealing with her addictions, Forner is making herself a risk to society.
When Forner was given the chance to speak, she apologized saying what she did was “terrible” and she will spend the rest of her life regretting her actions.
“I’m embarrassed and disgusted with myself and I’ve shamed my family. My actions have shocked my small community,” she said. “Never in a million years would I think that my addiction would lead me to traumatize another human being.”
The sentencing is expected to take place next week.