Woman sentenced to 10 years for Lethbridge hostage taking incident

File photo of the Lethbridge courthouse. Global News File

An emotional day in Lethbridge court as victim impact statements were read during sentencing submission for Courtney Shaw, who pleaded guilty to holding a woman hostage at the Lethbridge Legal Guidance office and stabbing her.

Kathryn Linder was stabbed multiple times including her neck and throat, leaving permanent damage. Those are just her physical injuries.

The victim impact statement detailed the trauma she, her family and co-workers have suffered because of the actions of 41-year-old Shaw.

Barb Bodnar was working in the office when Shaw came in on July 14, 2022 with a gun — which police later identified as an air-soft pistol — and a knife. She was able to escape.

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In her victim impact statement, she called Shaw selfish and heartless, detailing how she and her co-workers had always given a sympathetic ear to Shaw when she came in.

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“I will never understand why or how you could do this,” said Bodnar. “I will never forget this.

“You’ve changed our lives forever.”

Through a joint submission, Shaw was handed a ten-year sentence to be served in a federal penitentiary with credit of approximately two years for time already served.

In the Crown’s submissions, the court heard how Shaw had never had any interaction with the legal system prior to this incident and had no criminal record.

As for the why in this case, crown prosecutor Brian Shantz said,  “We still don’t know … A motive we will truly never understand.”

The court heard how Shaw has a long history of mental illness dating back to a young age. She was recently diagnosed with a number of conditions including borderline personality disorder.

Her lawyer also said she doesn’t have many friends or much family support, noting no one was in the courtroom for Shaw.

Shaw had a number of her other charges, including attempted murder, withdrawn.

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