Teresa Craig walks free

Kemptville woman stabbed husband to death in his sleep

By TONY SPEARS, Courts Bureau

Last Updated: February 3, 2011 7:08pm

She plunged the knife nearly to the hilt into her snoozing, abusive husband and got eight years for manslaughter in 2008.

Now Teresa Pohchoo Craig is free.

The Ontario Court of Appeal reduced Craig’s manslaughter sentence to time served in a sudden oral decision given last week in Toronto.

The court — which also upheld her conviction — will release a written decision at a later date.

“The (trial) judge gave very little weight ... to the impact of the abusive relationship,” said Craig’s lawyer, Susan Chapman, who argued the case.

Craig had been married to Jack Craig for 14 years after the Malaysian met her husband through a pen pal service.

He would verbally abuse her, especially when drunk.

And Jack Craig whipped their son with his belt and beat him with a ruler, Craig had testified.

Until March 31, 2006.

Her 10-year-old son was asleep 15 ft. away when she buried a butcher knife in Craig’s chest.

Again and again.

During sentencing, Judge Robert Maranger said he felt compassion for the woman, but the violence of the crime outweighed Craig’s clean criminal record, good character, diagnosis of depression and post traumatic stress disorder at the time, and her low risk to reoffend.

“Mrs. Craig is a person who is very well-liked and who seems to be easy to like,” Maranger said, noting the level of support she received through her trial was “unprecedented” in his time as a judge.

But sentencing must be based on the idea that a just society is measured by the value it places on a human life, he said.

“There were two, deep penetrating wounds that had to involve plunging the knife with a serious degree of force into the body of Jack Craig, virtually burying the entire blade into his body,” Maranger said.

The fact the victim was asleep and “physically defenseless” when he was attacked and that their son was sleeping nearby further aggravated the circumstances in the judge’s mind.

Her lawyer had sought a conditional sentence.