WINNIPEG -- A Winnipeg woman who participated in the shocking repeated abuse and torture of a mentally disabled woman will be freed from prison on statutory release Nov. 11.
April Dawn Armstrong, 36, is entitled in law to be freed after serving two-thirds of a five-year sentence for aggravated assault she received in July 2009.
Her release comes despite the Parole Board of Canada saying Armstrong continues to minimize her role in the crime and seems to be more concerned with how it has affected her and not the victim, for whom she says she feels "bad."
Armstrong, her brother, mother and her brother's former fiance abused the 21-year-old woman at a Pembina Highway apartment over a period of months starting in early 2006.
The victim was subjected to a litany of violent mistreatments at their hands -- being pushed down stairs, beaten and kicked, forced to swallow soap, and burned with lit cigarettes. She also had tissues that were stuffed into her panties and twisted into her hair and set alight, causing serious burns, the parole board said.
The abuse wasn't uncovered until one of the victim's relatives called police after not having seen nor heard from her for months. She has the mental capacity of a 12-year-old due to being diagnosed at birth with fetal dilantin syndrome.
Officers found her in a bedroom emaciated, with two black eyes, bruises and burn marks all over her body, and clumps of hair missing from her head.
While locked up, Armstrong has "struggled" to learn concepts taught in therapy and intervention programs, and has "low reintegration potential," the parole board states. The board also noted she has also shown a pattern of conflict with "others who can be perceived as either physically or mentally vulnerable."
The board has placed conditions on Armstrong's freedom, including that she avoid any contact with the victim or victim's family and an order she seek one-on-one mental health counselling to address a range of issues.
Prior to the conviction, she had no criminal record.