A Kelowna man who pleaded guilty to aggravated assault for a vicious attack on his 79-year-old mother has been sentenced to six years in prison.
“This was a cowardly, unprovoked surprise attack on a frail elderly woman,” B.C. Supreme Court Justice Steven Wilson said.
Kevin Barrett, now 61, viciously attacked his mother, Eleanor Holmes, then 79, on April 29, 2019 when she refused to let him drive her vehicle because he didn’t have a driver's licence, a Jan. 29 ruling released Feb. 24 said.
Holmes had told a court preliminary inquiry that she both loves her son and is terrified of him.
Justice Steven Wilson was told Barrett pulled his mother into the vehicle’s passenger side, pushed her down into the foot well and struck her both with his fists and with a blunt object.
“He ripped out handfuls of her hair and threw her dentures out of the vehicle,” Wilson said. “He bit a chunk from her hand and attempted strangulation with a seatbelt.”
Then, Barrett drove Holmes to a remote wooded area, removed her shoes, took her cellphone, and rolled her down an embankment into a ravine, then drove away.
“It was cold and it was getting dark,” Wilson said. “Somehow, she was able to climb up to the forestry road and was seen covered in blood and sitting on a skid steer by a couple who were driving by on their way to have a bonfire.”
Wilson was told Barrett had an early history of alcohol abuse and has been admitted to Kelowna General Hospital’s psychiatric unit several times. He has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and has a history of not following his medication regime resulting in mental health deterioration on occasion, Wilson said.
Wilson banned Barrett from communicating with his mother while in custody.