On Friday, Jade Boskoyous, 34, pleaded guilty to charges including arson, aggravated assault and assault causing bodily harm, charges stemming from a violent incident and fire in March 2020.
The justice accepted a four-year sentence, which was recommended in a joint sentencing submission from the Crown and defence.
The remaining charges — which originally included attempted murder — were withdrawn.
On Feb. 15, 2020, Edmonton fire crews were called to the home at 121 Avenue and 102 Street at 5:29 a.m., and arrived to find an active fire. Police said a man entered the home and assaulted two women inside. Officers say he lit the house on fire before running away.
Two women aged 31 and 72 were sent to hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries. The incident was considered a case of domestic violence.
Boskoyous was arrested and charged on March 12, 2020.
Court heard two victim impact statements on Friday: Dora Campbell and Crystal Campbell.
Crystal is Dora’s niece but was adopted by Dora and her husband. Dora and Crystal lived together in the rented home. Crystal and the accused had been in a relationship but Crystal believed it was over.
Dora sustained a broken hip in the Feb. 15 attack. She’s now dependent on a walker and suffers head and neck pain, court heard Friday.
“(I’m) scared to go anywhere, hallucinating, scared to be alone.”
“(I) lost everything (in the fire), including my late husband’s keepsakes, pictures, everything I ever owned.”
Both Dora and Crystal indicated in a victim impact statement they were afraid the accused would find them after being released.
“What little hope I had (is) gone,” Crystal testified. “I would say I’ve changed now. Keep to myself, stay indoors. Not a go-lucky person right now.
“The security comfort, safety is gone.”
The joint sentencing submission includes a no-contact order for both women.
Four years is among the lowest possible sentence for these crimes.
“It’s a sentence at the lower end of the range,” Justice Melanie Hayes-Richards said, “and I might go so far as to say at the very low end of the range.”
The Crown prosecutor told court they weren’t certain they’d be able to secure a conviction. One of the two witnesses was moving out of province on Saturday and the Crown didn’t want to depend on the other’s testimony.
Court heard there is a history of residential schools in Boskoyous’ family, his father left when he was two and had a traumatic childhood, including physical abuse and addictions.
Boskoyous has struggled with homelessness and drug abuse and he had done meth the night before the February assault and arson and that morning, the defence lawyer said.
“He has remorse — extreme remorse — for what occurred.
“He loved Dora and Crystal. He feels horrible they lost their pictures and their home.”
Boskoyous addressed court himself Friday.
“If Dora and Crystal were here today, I wanted to tell them how sorry I am for what happened and I wish them the best in the future.”
He has been in custody since March 13, 2020 and will receive 22 months’ credit for time served.
In her decision, the judge said she took into account the difficulties the victims will continue to face but also that Boskoyous pleaded guilty and the trauma in his past.
Boskoyous will serve just over two more years behind bars.
— With files from Fletcher Kent, Global News