Supporters rally for Teresa Craig


OTTAWA — About 40 women turned up at a sentencing hearing Tuesday to show support for Teresa Pohchoo Craig, who was convicted of manslaughter last month in the stabbing death of her husband, Jack Craig.

By Ottawa Citizen July 22, 2008

OTTAWA — About 40 women turned up at a sentencing hearing Tuesday to show support for Teresa Pohchoo Craig, who was convicted of manslaughter last month in the stabbing death of her husband, Jack Craig.

Many of the women wore lapel buttons that read “Justice for Teresa and (her son).” The 12-year-old boy cannot be named because he is under the care of the Children’s Aid Society.

Moments before the hearing began, Mrs. Craig acknowledged her supporters with smiles and waves from the prisoner’s dock.

The Crown is seeking a seven- to nine-year prison term for Mrs. Craig.

Defence attorney Richard Morris is arguing that a conditional sentence would be appropriate. A conditional sentence is served in the community, not in jail, and can be no longer than two years less a day.

Kimberly Pate, executive director of the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies, testified that Mrs. Craig would probably lose access to treatment for her ongoing mental health problems if she is sent to prison. During the two-month trial, the jury heard expert evidence that Mrs. Craig suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder as well as depression.

Ms. Pate also testified it is unlikely that Mrs. Craig’s son would be able to visit her if she is sent to prison in Kitchener, the nearest penitentiary for women convicted of serious crimes.

The jury of six men and five women heard evidence during the trial that Mr. Craig, 54, verbally abused his wife, at home and in public. He also frequently slapped their son to discipline him, at times using a belt on his bare legs.

At about 3 a.m. on March 31, 2006, Mrs. Craig placed a pillow over her sleeping husband’s face to muffle his snores, then stabbed him several times. He died in the ambulance en route to hospital in Kemptville.

The jury also heard an audiotape of Mrs. Craig’s 911 call that night in which she said her husband had abused her verbally — but not physically — for years.

Ottawa police Sgt. Michael Hudson testified that Mrs. Craig breached her bail conditions during her stay at a shelter for abused women while awaiting trial.

Sgt. Hudson said Mrs. Craig put on a hat and sunglasses to disguise herself, then left the shelter with another resident to visit a store. When a staffer at the shelter confronted Mrs. Craig about the incident, she was remorseful, said Sgt. Hudson.

“She fully admitted to everything and was crying uncontrollably,” he said.

Mr. Morris argued during the trial that over the years, the mental abuse Mrs. Craig suffered at her husband’s hands broke her spirit, ruined her health and brought her to the brink of suicide. Mr. Craig controlled every aspect of her life. She even had to ask his permission to telephone her family.

Although she left Mr. Craig for several years after the birth of their son, Mrs. Craig went back to him. In emotional testimony, she said her love for her son made her stay so she could protect the boy from her husband’s severe discipline.

Under the Criminal Code, Mrs. Craig faces no minimum punishment for her manslaughter conviction, but she could receive a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. Had she been convicted of either first- or second-degree murder, she would have automatically received a life sentence.

The sentencing hearing resumes Wednesday.



commentary by the Ottawa mens Centre

It's part of Ontario's War on Men, any woman who is mentally ill and extremely violent how has a license to kill, just put a pillow over your husbands face, plunge a butcher's knife deep into his chest then call 911 and complain about verbal abuse.

3 years later, the Feminist Sargent of arms at the Ontario Court of appeal reduces the sentence of 8 years to time served, for "manslaughter" that has NO Minimum sentencing.

Of course, her dead husband can't answer the allegations, and her word is accepted that he was "abusive".

She later stayed in a women's shelter, broke bail conditions by wearing a disguise and showed her contempt for the law.

Odds are she will do it again and we will see an ongoing string of similar murders across Canada