October 31st, 2020

Ottawa man sentenced to seven and a half years for brutal attack on elderly woman


By Jensen, Randy on August 11, 2020.

LETHBRIDGE HERALD

A 21-year-old Ottawa man who viciously beat an elderly woman in her Lethbridge home last spring was sentenced to seven and a half years in prison by Judge Kristin Ailsby during sentencing Friday in Lethbridge provincial court.

Adam Hobkirk-Onate had previously pleaded guilty to charges of housebreaking with intent to rob, aggravated assault and being disguised while committing an offence.

The Crown was seeking 10-12 years in a federal penitentiary for the break-in and robbery. Crown Prosecutor Michael Fox also recommended a six-year sentence for aggravated assault, and up to a year for being disguised, but he suggested they should run concurrently with the sentence for the break-in.

Defence lawyer Wade Hlady was seeking a sentence of two years less a day, which would allow Hobkirk-Onate to serve his sentence in a provincial jail, followed by probation, perhaps with house arrest.

On May 21, 2019 Hobkirk-Onate was fired from his job in Waterton and found himself without any money and no place to go. Late that night he targeted a somewhat sheltered residence at the end of a cul-de-sac. He entered the home through an unlocked door, and while the elderly owner slept, he had a beer, some wine and a ham and cheese sandwich. He even cleaned up his mess so the owner wouldn’t know anyone had been in her kitchen.

He hid in a closet in the basement the rest of the night. The next day, after the owner left for an afternoon appointment, Hobkirk-Onate crept out of his hiding place, accessed her internet, ate some food and drank more wine and vodka.

At 5 p.m. the owner returned home and Hobkirk-Onate returned to the basement where he hid for two hours before deciding to steal the owner’s car and drive to Calgary. He covered his face with a T-shirt, went upstairs and encountered the frightened owner.

When the 76-year-old woman asked who he was and what he was doing in her home, he punched her in the face, knocking her to the ground. He then got on top of her and continued to punch her several more times.

The elderly woman tried to fight back, and even managed to scratch her attacker’s face, but he pinned her arms so he could freely punch her in the face.

Hobkirk-Onate took her car keys and went into the garage. He opened the garage door, but before he could get in the vehicle, the badly bleeding woman grabbed him. He knocked her to the ground again and struck her several more times in the head with the front tire of her bicycle. Then he sped away in her vehicle, leaving his victim with a broken nose, eyes swollen shut, bruises and a fractured skull.

Not long afterward, a police officer saw the stolen vehicle drive by. He stopped the vehicle and arrested the suspect, who was only wearing a pair of jeans that were stained with his victim’s blood. During interviews with police he confessed to breaking into the woman’s home and beating her.

Hobkirk-Onate has spent just over a year and custody and was given credit for nearly two years served, meaning he will serve just over five and a half years in prison.

-With files from Delon Shurtz

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