A man charged with aggravated assault in an April 2, 2019 stabbing in Sicamous was sentenced at the Salmon Arm Law Courts on Oct. 13, 2020. (File photo)

Man under meth psychosis who stabbed mother sentenced in Shuswap

Several people witnessed 2019 stabbing in Sicamous, man apologizes to mother in court

The sentencing of Thor Straume in Provincial Court in Salmon Arm included an apology in the courtroom to his stabbing victim – his mother.

Straume, 26, was in court Oct. 13 to be sentenced following his guilty plea to a charge of aggravated assault. A second charge of attempted murder was stayed by Crown counsel.

The incident in Sicamous, which several people witnessed, occurred on April 2, 2019. The court heard that Straume, with a history of mental illness, had been taking methamphetamine for three days beforehand and had not slept.

In a drug-induced psychosis, about 6 a.m. he mistakenly thought a ‘transvestite rapist pedophile’ had come into the house where he stayed with his mother and was going to rape and possibly kill them both.

The court heard that he fought the person with a meat cleaver and eight-inch knife, not aware he was attacking his mother, who he thought was sleeping.

Sicamous RCMP received multiple 911 calls about a woman being stabbed by a man. Straume, who some witnesses said they had heard yelling that he was raped as a child, was eventually subdued after multiple arrest attempts by police.

Read more: Man arrested after woman receives ‘life threatening’ injuries in Sicamous

Days before the incident, from March 23 to 27, 2019, Straume was taken to hospital under the Mental Health Act for psychosis and was then returned to his mother’s home after that.

The court heard that Straume’s mother had called Sicamous police on April 1 to help locate her son, which they did. While he appeared to be someone suffering from mental illness, police reported he was calm and did not appear to present a threat to himself or his mother. The court heard that she thanked police and took him home in her vehicle.

Referring to the attack, Crown counsel Alison Buchanan said Straume’s mother suffered significant injuries, the worst a deep laceration to her throat. It was initially suspected she might not live.

She has undergone surgery on her vocal chords but still experiences pain and might never regain her normal speech.

His mother wrote a letter to Crown counsel, stating it was not easy to write but she was doing it for the love of her son. She said he means the world to her and they have always had a close relationship. She said he has always been good and kind to her and this incident was the only time she did not know him. She said she didn’t think he should be charged as a criminal because it wouldn’t have happened without the narcotic-induced psychosis. She added that she wasn’t writing because he is her son, but because it’s true.

Straume’s mother and brother were in the courtroom during the sentencing.

Defence counsel Glenn Verdurmen said Straume’s father died when he was 11, and his education stopped about Grade 6. He had trouble dealing with the death, which led to the use of alcohol and drugs. He has used a number of drugs including heroin and cocaine, but it was methamphetamine prior to the attack. He is designated as a person with disabilities due to intellectual difficulties and a long history of mental illness.

Verdurmen said Straume has no criminal record and has held several jobs. He also has “sincere and great remorse” for the harm he’s caused his mother.

“If he can stay on the drugs he is supposed to and off the drugs he is not supposed to, he can be a safe and contributing member of society…,” remarked Verdurmen.

Read more: Penticton mass-murderer apologizes: ‘I tragically disrupted so many lives’

Read more: Walk the Wharf in Salmon Arm lights path to suicide prevention

Straume, with closely cropped dark hair and a goatee-like beard, wearing a dark red sweatshirt, was permitted to stand up in the prisoner’s box to apologize to his mother. He noted they hadn’t talked in about a year.

“I hope we can go back to where it was… I hope in time you will feel comfortable around me,” he told her. “You have my word, I won’t do it again.”

Crown and defence counsels presented a joint submission for sentencing.

Because Straume has been in jail since the incident, he was credited with 841 days of pre-sentence time. The jail term would have been 842 days, so he was sentenced to one more day.

He will also be on probation for 30 months, during which time he must meet 13 conditions. Among them, he must report to forensic psychiatric services for any treatment or counselling required. He must attend all sessions and take all medication. He can have no contact or communication with the victim without her prior consent. He cannot go within 15 metres of her residence.

He is also under a 10-year firearms prohibition and must provide a DNA sample.


marthawickett@saobserver.net
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

CourtSicamousstabbing

Comments are closed

Just Posted

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Geordie Fife exits the dunk tank during 2017’s Discovery House Father’s Day festivities at Skaha Lake Park. The fundraiser helps raise awareness of the work done at the house and break down the stigma associated with addiction. (Western News File)
Discovery House Father’s Day fundraiser goes digital

The addiction recovery program will be rolling out videos ahead of the fundraiser

The proposed design of the five-storey building on Front Street. (City of Penticton)
Five-storey building proposed for Penticton’s Front Street

It will be the second time the proposal will head to council

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from St. Eugene’s residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

RCMP thanked the public for assistance in finding Benjamin Archie, last seen in Princeton. (RCMP)
Missing Chilliwack man found safe and sound

The 80-year-old had walked away from his home in Chilliwack

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

(Heather Lueck image)
Crash north of Enderby knocks out power, slows Highway 97A traffic

A witness captured footage of a medical helicopter landing at the scene

Most Read