A care aide originally from Venezuela has been sentenced to five months in jail after attacking a naked, unconscious woman in her partner’s bed in Colwood.
The jail sentence for Naimar Dieguez, who pleaded guilty to aggravated assault in the May 2018 attack, will be followed by three years of probation and 16 hours of community service every month during her probation.
The five-month sentence will also allow Dieguez, 42, to appeal any decision to deport her. Permanent residents sentenced to more than six months in jail for crimes such as aggravated assault face deportation without any opportunity to appeal the decision.
In sentencing Dieguez on Thursday, provincial court Judge Ted Gouge called the assault an unprovoked attack with a weapon on an “unconscious and helpless victim.”
Dieguez was in a common-law relationship with Kevin Beairsto, according to an agreed statement of facts, and in May 2018, they were renting the upper suite at a home on Kelly Road while the victim was living in the lower suite with friends.
On May 28 of that year, Dieguez flew to her family home in Alberta to visit family, including her two young children, while Beairsto stayed in Colwood.
That same day, the victim had a fight with her roommates and was kicked out of the lower suite. Beairsto invited her to stay with him. The two consumed a significant amount of alcohol between May 28 and 30, said the statement.
At times, Beairsto turned his cellphone off and ignored calls and messages from Dieguez. However, at some point, the victim answered his phone and told Dieguez she was temporarily living upstairs with Beairsto.
On the night of May 30, Dieguez flew back to Victoria, arriving home around midnight. She found Beairsto and the victim in her bedroom. The victim was naked in her bed. Dieguez attacked the woman with a broomstick and a knife, causing serious injury.
The victim, who was drunk and had blacked out, only had a limited memory of the attack. She told police she didn’t remember anything sexual happening between her and Beairsto and had no memory of going to sleep in his bed.
Beairsto told police he saw Dieguez hitting the victim with a broom. Although he saw a knife in Dieguez’s hands, he didn’t see her use it.
When police arrived at the scene, the victim was outside, bleeding heavily from the head, and Dieguez was yelling at her. The victim was treated in hospital for multiple contusions, two facial lacerations, a nasal fracture and a serious eye injury that now requires her to wear glasses.
Police searched the house and found a red broomstick and two broken knives.
Dieguez and Beairsto are no longer together.
In determining a sentence, the judge said he considered the fact that Dieguez had no criminal history and had entered a reasonably early guilty plea. He also read a number of “remarkably forceful” reference letters describing Dieguez’s personal and professional life.
“In her profession as a care aide, she has made a significant contribution as a newcomer to Canadian society. Her professional skills are much in demand,” said Gouge. “Because of those professional skills, Ms. Dieguez is able to make a much more significant contribution by way of community work service than are most offenders.”
By imposing a shorter jail sentence, with a longer term of probation and community service, Gouge said he could achieve the objectives of denunciation and deterrence while providing a meaningful benefit to the community.
Dieguez must have no contact with the victim and must complete any counselling programs directed by her probation officer. She must provide a DNA sample to the authorities and is prohibited from owning weapons for 10 years.