Man who raped Edmonton woman, 79, sentenced to 8 years


EDMONTON -- A man who brutally raped a 79-year-old woman after breaking into her inner-city home while she was sleeping was put behind bars on Tuesday.

Gabriel Dale Cardinal, 37, was handed an eight-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to charges of breaking into a home and committing a sexual assault causing bodily harm and attempted choking.

Deputy Chief Judge Allan Lefever told the tearful Gabriel he would have given him a longer sentence, but for a joint proposal by the Crown and defence which was agreed to because it spared the "terrified" victim from testifying.

"Mr. Cardinal, your actions are reprehensible," Lefever said. "Your behaviour, Mr. Cardinal, is despicable."

Cardinal was given 14 months credit for the time he has been in pre-trial custody, leaving him with six years and 10 months still to serve. He was also ordered to submit a DNA sample for the national DNA databank and placed on the national sex offender registry for life.

According to agreed facts, Cardinal broke into the victim's home at about 4 a.m. on Nov. 29, 2011 by removing the centre pane of a basement window.

The woman woke to Cardinal lying on top of her on her bed with his hands around her throat. He told her to be quiet and began groping her as she struggled and begged him to stop. He then raped and bit her.

Cardinal then demanded money and the senior gave him $40 and pointed to the door as the way out. He also stole her house keys, which made her fear he would return.

Crown prosecutor Avril Inglis said the victim was taken to hospital where she was treated for cuts and bruises to her face, throat and wrists as well as lacerations to her private parts. She also suffered pain in her right shoulder and had abrasions on her upper right thigh and face.

Court heard Cardinal was arrested on Jan. 20, 2012, as a result of his DNA being found inside a glove belonging to the victim which Cardinal had worn during the attack.

Inglis told court the sex attack was an "absolute nightmare" for the senior and she was "terrified" to testify.

In a victim impact statement, the woman wrote she suffered physical and emotional pain after Cardinal "barged into my house and raped me.

"This greatly impacted my spirit, causing me great sadness and sorrow," she wrote.

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