Author Topic: Harry Dunsford | Serial Rapist  (Read 2943 times)


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Harry Dunsford | Serial Rapist
« on: December 11, 2010, 06:12:58 PM »
Woman forgives attacker
A frail Saskatoon woman limped to the centre of a Queen's Bench courtroom Thursday and offered forgiveness to her attacker, repeat violent sexual offender Harry Dunsford.

The woman, who cannot be named, was called to give a victim impact statement during a hearing to decide whether Dunsford, 46, should be declared a dangerous offender and imprisoned indefinitely. Final arguments in the case will be heard Jan. 27.

"It's been very hard for me, but I, I'm a forgiving person. I forgive him," she told Justice Duane Koch, with Dunsford sitting behind her in the prisoner's box.

She said life is still extremely difficult, even though it's been four years since Dunsford committed an aggravated assault on her. She is comforted by the thought of a "higher power" watching over her.

Just prior to this, Crown prosecutor Kim Humphries read a statement written by the woman just a month after the attack.

"My face was so swollen, my own mother didn't recognize me," read the statement.

"The hell I had gone through was just the beginning."

The woman's upper teeth were knocked out, she nearly lost sight in one eye, needed staples to close wounds in the back of her head and lost her balance and co-ordination. She wrote that she no longer trusts anyone and can't make new friends. She is unable to drive, and has since required surgery to repair one of several steel plates in her face.

"Why would a human being be so cruel?" she wrote.

The woman, who met Dunsford at a bar before the attack occurred, said the one consolation was learning her beloved dog was unharmed.

Dunsford's lawyer, George Combe, declined to call any witnesses, but Dunsford will be given an opportunity to speak following closing arguments in January.

Dunsford, who as a child endured frequent physical and sexual abuse from numerous adults, sniffed gasoline and drank alcohol to the point of blacking out from the age of eight, court heard. He has a long history of violence and sexual assaults dating to 1983. A doctor who conducted a recent assessment of Dunsford said in court earlier this week that Dunsford was "probably" a psychopath.

The program director at Saskatoon's Regional Psychiatric Centre (RPC) testified Thursday that Dunsford participated in two intensive sexual offender programs, yet reoffended shortly after his release.

She also said Dunsford, while working in the RPC kitchen, began a relationship with one of the employees. When the couple was discovered by officials, the woman was fired, but continued to visit Dunsford in prison. This was a "distraction" for Dunsford as staff attempted to offer him programs. Eventually, RPC staff decided to offer the couple therapy and disclosed, with Dunsford's consent, all of his criminal history to the woman. They were married shortly after his release about 10 years ago. It's unclear what became of that relationship.

Repeat offender qualifies as dangerous, hearing told
Harry Dunsford, 46, has spent most of his adult life behind bars for violent crimes. Depending on the outcome of a hearing underway in a Saskatoon courtroom this week, he may never be free again.

The highly structured environment of a prison is, unfortunately, the best place for him -- and public safety requires it, a forensic psychologist testified as Dunsford's dangerous offender hearing began Monday.

"I think he qualifies for a designation of dangerous offender," said Dr. Roger Holden, who conducted a detailed risk assessment on Dunsford last fall.

Born on a Manitoba reserve, Dunsford is a product of a "pretty dysfunctional, pretty abusive" childhood, Holden told court. He started using alcohol and solvents at a very young age and more than one psychologist has concluded he suffers from organic brain damage, Holden said.

His long-standing substance abuse problem has not been successfully treated with the programs Dunsford has taken in prison over the years, and if released into the community, he would not be able to manage it without "incredible amounts of help," he added.

Based on his test results, Dunsford is "probably" a psychopath and he has a high potential for future violence, Holden said.

"I think he's a high risk on all the factors."

Dunsford's most recent crime was an aggravated assault in Saskatoon in 2006, when he inflicted a severe beating on a woman he met at a karaoke bar. She was later found unconscious outside his apartment building with serious injuries.

He was on probation at the time, having received an 18-month jail sentence followed by 18 months of probation in May 2005 for sexual interference against a child. He was under the conditions of a Section 810 recognizance, known as a peace bond, when he committed that offence.

His adult incarceration history dates back to 1983 in Manitoba, when he got a three-year prison sentence for stabbing another man in the back with a knife and beating a woman with a set of nunchuks, court heard.

In Winnipeg in 1986, he was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to four years and six months for using a stick to beat another man to death while drinking with his mother on the riverbank. He was under mandatory supervision from his prison term at the time.

In 1992, still in Winnipeg, he received a six-month jail term followed by probation for assault causing bodily harm and forcible confinement against a female partner.

Two years later, a judge sentenced him to six years in prison for assault and sexual assault against a 56-year-old woman who lived near his mother. He was on probation at the time of that incident.

"He seems indifferent to supervision orders," Holden said.

When he asked Dunsford about his past violent behaviour in an interview, Dunsford tried to put the best possible face on it, claiming he acted in defence of himself or others, Holden told court.

"It seemed to me that he didn't accept culpability for his sexual assaults," he added.

Dunsford's dangerous offender hearing is expected to conclude by the end of the week.