Crown seeking lengthy jail sentence for woman’s role in ‘savage’ attack

The Crown is asking for up to 12 years in prison for a 23-year-old woman's part in a "protracted, degrading and savage" group attack against two youths, including one boy who was sodomized with a broom.

Mercedes Rae Jewett appeared in custody Thursday alongside co-accused Hayden Lee Alwood, 20, for a sentencing hearing after each pleaded guilty to aggravated sexual assault and unlawful confinement. Jewett also previously pleaded guilty to assault causing bodily harm, while Alwood is also guilty of assault with a weapon.

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In all seven people, including five minors who cannot be named, have pleaded guilty for their part in the Jan. 7 2013 assault on the two victims, who were 17 at the time of the offence.

But Crown called Jewett, then 20, the "catalyst" for the assault.

In an agreed statement of facts, court heard Jewett threw a party at her home and woke up the next morning recalling a dream of a male tugging down her pants.

A 15-year-old girl said she'd had a similar dream. So Jewett called a number of friends to tell them "that a guy had broken into their apartment and tried to rape them," Crown said.

They found an iPod in the room and decided that the culprit was connected to the device, and tracked down the owner.

Jewett invited the 17-year-old boy to her apartment the next day. When he showed up, at least six people were waiting for him and he was almost immediately punched in the face.

He tried to leave but "the group grabbed him and pulled him back into the apartment saying they were going to beat him up for touching their girls," said Crown, and locked the door as they continued to pummel him with their fists.

In another room, Alwood, then 18, smashed him in the head with an empty vodka bottle, and another youth kicked the victim in the face.

When the victim managed to convince the group he wasn't involved in any assault on Jewett or the other girl, Jewett wiped the blood from his head and gave him a THC pill.

By then they'd turned their sights on the victim's cousin, also 17, who they now believed had sexually assaulted the girls. They made the victim message his cousin to invite him over, too.

They locked the first victim in a backroom in an empty and open apartment in Jewett's complex, before his cousin arrived.

When he did, he was attacked periodically as smaller groups of two and three took turns beating him. When he was lying on the floor, Alwood pulled his pants down and one of the youth sodomized him with a broom stick.

Some in the group took pictures and video of the assault and aftermath, which were presented in court.

In the video, Jewett's voice can be heard among others mocking the unconscious youth, while the screen moves between close ups of his bloody face and shaky views of the room, as music blares in the background.

They dragged his body into the kitchen and "poured cold water on his face, slapped his cheeks and told him to wake up," Crown said.

Jewett kicked him in the head several times and the 15-year-old girl hit him in the head with a frying pan, that may have been heated for several hours.

Court heard the victim was "profoundly" affected by the attack, and sustained brain injuries.

Eventually, he was dragged by Alwood and others to a snow bank in the back alley of the apartment complex and when paramedics arrived he and others pretended to be good samaritans who were helping out.

By the next day, Jewett had been arrested and her phone seized, complete with text messages bragging of the crime and other messages that the Crown said showed she was working for Alwood's mother in some capacity to enforce drug debts.

Arguing for a sentence of eight to 12 years (less the 731 days already served in jail) Crown said the assault was pre-mediated and Jewett displayed a lack of remorse and is prone to substance abuse and violent attitudes.

"It was she who lured (the first victim) to the apartment," the Crown said, later quoting Jewett's psychological assessment that said she had "fundamental and unchanging personality defects," has borderline personality disorder and displays 16 of 20 risk factors for reoffence.

Court heard Jewett started drinking at 13, using crack cocaine by 16, which became a daily habit at 17 when she started working on the street to support the habit.

She quit when she became pregnant, but was back at it six months after the birth of her daughter.

"It shows Ms. Jewett to be manipulative and willing to do anything for what she calls street cred," Crown said of the pre-sentence report.

The report also quoted Jewett's mother, who said her daughter "thrives on power and control and has lacked remorse from an early age."

In the report, Jewett said "she thinks she learned her lesson and has been punished enough."

Crown still has to present its case against Alwood, and defence has yet to speak on behalf of their clients. Both Alwood and Jewett are scheduled to appear again for at least another day of sentencing hearings.

For Alwood, the Crown is asking six to nine years, less the more than 731 days already served.

YOUTHS SENTENCED FOR ATTACK ON TEENS

Four of five minors involved in a violent assault have pleaded guilty and been sentenced for their part in a group attack that left two youths with serious injuries.

In total seven people charged in the Jan. 7, 2013 assault on the 17-year-old boys, that included sodomy of one of the victims, have pleaded guilty, the court heard Thursday at the sentencing hearing for Mercedes Rae Jewett, 23 and Hayden Lee Alwood, 20, for their part in the offence.

Previous sentences include a boy who was 17 at the time of the offence, and was handed a three-year Intensive Rehabilitative Custody and Supervision Order not including 709 days in custody for sexual assault, assault causing bodily harm and unlawful confinement.

A girl, 15 at the time of the offence, was sentenced to 270 days for aggravated assault, assault causing bodily harm and unlawful confinement. She also received a 20 month probation order.

A second boy, 15 at the time, received a one-year jail sentence and two-year probation for sexual assault, assault causing bodily harm and unlawful confinement.

A third boy, 16 at the time, was handed a three-year Intensive Rehabilitative Custody and Supervision Order in addition to 239 days served in jail for sexual assault, assault causing bodily harm and unlawful confinement.

A fourth boy, 14 at the time, has yet to be sentenced but has pleaded guilty to aggravated assault.

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