A woman convicted for the third time of stabbing her male partner is spending her time in rehab, but not jail.
Lena Walkus, 38, appeared in Campbell River provincial court on May 29, to be sentenced for assault causing bodily harm.
According to Crown prosecutor Adrienne Venturini, it’s the third time Walkus has been convicted in connection with a domestic stabbing assault.
Venturini asked the court to impose nine more months of jail time, but instead, Judge Roderick Sutton delayed sentencing a few days to allow Walkus to immediately enter residential treatment in Alert Bay.
According to defence lawyer Angie Penhall, Walkus grew up in Vancouver and began drinking at age 12 or 13. At 15, she began smoking marijuana and by 17 she was using crack cocaine.
It was “downhill instantly after that,” Penhall said of Walkus’ life.
Eight years ago Walkus moved to Campbell River to be closer to family and to try and break her addictions to drugs and alcohol. It didn’t go as planned. Instead, she became involved with a man and the two would drink heavily together.
On Nov. 21, 2012, a friend was at the couple’s apartment when the man complained of sore ribs due to Walkus beating on him earlier that day. Both Walkus and her partner were heavily intoxicated when he allegedly insulted her and she responded by lunging at him with a paring knife.
The man was stabbed in the leg which required two stitches to close the wound. He was also unco-operative with police and refused to provide a statement.
Walkus was arrested, but later released from custody with one of the conditions being that she not be anywhere near her partner. But on Feb. 21, Walkus was arrested again after she was beating on the man’s apartment door.
She was also drunk and yelled and screamed at RCMP officers who took her into custody. She finally settled down after passing out in the jail cell. This time Walkus was held in custody, but it appears she took advantage of the programs available to her.
Walkus told the court she has lost 30 pounds, goes to alcoholics- and narcotics-anonymous meetings, attends church, and was willing to enter a residential treatment program.
“I know now that alcohol isn’t worth it,” she said. “I’m so sorry. It’s taken me so long to realize alcohol is so stupid. I’m ready for treatment…it’s my anger. I know it’s my anger.”
In the end, Judge Sutton sentenced Walkus to time served and order her to begin and complete the residential treatment program. She is also on probation for the next 18 months.
As a final condition, he ordered Walkus to stay away from her partner.
“That’s a toxic relationship,” Judge Sutton said.