National Post

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Wednesday, April 26, 2000

15-year-old Sask. girl found guilty in savage beating
Lori Coolican and Jason Warick
The StarPhoenix

SASKATOON - A teenage girl sat dry-eyed in the prisoners' box in Saskatoon provincial court yesterday as a judge convicted her of aggravated assault for a savage beating that left one of her peers unrecognizable and near death at a house party last December.

The 15-year-old girl was the primary attacker in what Judge Rosemary Weisgerber called a "horrendous assault" on the 15-year-old victim, who was abandoned in the snow behind the house. She had to be identified at the hospital by a family member, who only recognized her nail polish and the way she crossed her feet when she slept.

"The viciousness of the attack is very disturbing to the court," Judge Weisgerber said, adding the victim survived the beating "only by the grace of God" and the heroic efforts of a young man who covered her with a blanket and led police to where she was lying unconscious.

Neither the victim nor her attackers can be identified under the Young Offenders Act. A 17-year-old girl who pleaded guilty to common assault in connection with the same beating was set to appear for sentencing in the courtroom next door yesterday. Her sentencing was adjourned until June 7 -- after the 15-year-old is sentenced for aggravated assault on May 29.

The beating occurred Dec. 11 at the house where a group of teens spent the evening drinking heavily. Witnesses at the 15-year-old's trial -- including her 17-year-old co-accused -- said the teenage girl "freaked out" and began kicking the victim when she passed out in a chair.

The bleeding girl was later dragged out of the house into the front yard, where the 15-year-old stomped on her head repeatedly until a neighbour threatened to call police. The victim was later dragged into the back yard dressed only in jeans, socks and tank top.

The girl's broken jaw had to be mended with a metal plate and her teeth wired into place. She suffered from hypothermia by the time she was discovered, and was listed at the hospital as "resuscitative" -- the most urgent category for a patient.

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