WINNIPEG — She angrily busted her way back into an inner city house party with a bottle filled with gasoline in hand and confrontation on her mind.
But instead of getting revenge, a Winnipeg woman wound up badly burned and horrifically beaten in an ill-fated quest to avenge an earlier attack on a friend.
“I’m not going to paint the picture other than what it is, which is the victim going for vengeance,” Crown attorney Mike Desautels told court Friday.
Details of the bizarre aggravated assault case were revealed for the first time at a bail hearing for a 32-year-old woman accused of playing a role in it.
A woman and a male friend of hers were socializing at an early-morning house party attended by several members of the Manitoba Warriors gang, according to the Crown. Things grew hostile when guests grew suspicious at whether her friend was a cop. He was attacked after he denied it.
“The people who were at the house party are not exactly the cream of the crop, socially,” said Desautels.
“(The victim) is no shrinking violet herself,” Corrin was told.
The woman dropped the man off at home after fleeing. She returned to the party armed with a pop bottle filled with gas, demanding to know who accosted her pal, Judge Brian Corrin was told.
The woman got into a physical confrontation with a guest, and eventually was backed into a corner, court heard. “The gas starts spilling everywhere -- all over the victim,” Desautels said.
One of two men who came to see the commotion pulled out a pack of matches and began lighting and flicking a number of them in the victim’s direction, said the Crown. “All of a sudden, one of them when it gets to her ... ignites her on fire,” Desautels says. “She goes up in flames.”
The victim, in shock and burning, makes her way outside and rolls in the dirt to extinguish the flames only to be set upon by four partygoers. Desautels said she was brutally beaten with sticks and stones, repeatedly kicked and had her neck slashed by a broken bottle.
The victim managed to flee only to be found by police after being called to Pacific Avenue to investigate reports of a “severely burnt” and “nonsensical” woman running in the street.
“I didn’t do this to myself,” she told cops and paramedics.
She spent three weeks in hospital suffering from second-degree burns to her hand, forearm and abdomen and required plastic surgery and numerous stitches.
“I was frustrated and I wanted to let them know they should take me seriously,” the victim said.
Police caught a break in the case Oct. 30 and arrested the 32-year-old woman Thursday. She is presumed innocent.
“Our allegation is that she’s a party to the entire event. It wasn’t a momentary assault ... it was protracted. It was violent,” said Desautels.
Corrin agreed to release the woman -- a mother to three kids -- on several strict conditions despite opposition from the Crown. Her case returns to court next month.