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Vienneau sentenced 11 years for attempted murder

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The 48-year-old former Tillsonburg man who slit a woman’s throat from ear to ear in October 2011 was sentenced to 11 years in a penitentiary Thursday morning.

With enhanced credit for the 23 months he has already spent in three prisons, Daniel Vienneau will serve eight years and two months, with eligibility for parole after serving two-thirds of his sentence.

Superior Court Justice Lynne Leitch said the sentence “reflects the seriousness of the event as well as the circumstances of the offender.”

Assistant Crown attorney Steve Guiler previously asked the court for 16 years while defence lawyer James Battin petitioned for five years and enhanced credit of 1.5 days for every presentence day served due to the brutality of conditions in the detention centres.

The woman, whose name is protected under a court-ordered publication ban, had to be resuscitated and required 50 staples after the vicious, unprovoked attack almost two years ago.

On October 12, 2011 Vienneau broke into the woman’s home “angry and enraged” and attacked her with a utility knife before slicing his own throat.

Both the woman and Vienneau had to be revived by emergency room doctors after being rushed to hospital.

Today the woman and her family have been left profoundly changed by the event.

"Because of this horrific event, we do not have a normal future," the woman said in a victim impact statement Tuesday. "The thought of someone wanting you dead is the most horrible thing you can imagine."

Justice Leitch said the woman and her family have been left with “feelings of uneasiness and worry about safety and safety of their families.”

“The victims experienced permanent physical and psychological injuries,” she said.

Meanwhile, Vienneau, who testified he does not remember anything from the night of the assault and had no prior record or history of violence with the woman, was reportedly not drinking or on drugs the day of the assault.

Justice Leitch added he had a lengthy work history and “appears to be a contributing member of society.”

In a presentence report, a family member reportedly said that on the night of the assault Vienneau, who was working two jobs, “snapped because of lack of sleep.”

While incarcerated he had taken several courses, including Bible studies, anger management and an antiviolence antiabuse program known as Changing Ways.

While Justice Leitch noted Vienneau had apologized to the victim and her family, she added much of his court address on Tuesday “focused on the injuries he sustained.”

She also noted while incarcerated in overcrowded jail cells he was swarmed by other prisoners, bullied, injured all while enduring numerous lockdowns.

Vienneau is also subject to a 10-year weapons ban and non-communication order with the victim and her family.

heather.rivers@sunmedia.ca

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