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Toxic relationship leads to legal troubles

Woman tells court she's working hard to get life back to what it was
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Deedra Kaiser's life underwent a dramatic change when she moved to Northern Ontario and became involved in a toxic relationship, a judge heard Tuesday.

The 27-year-old woman "turned to negative influences" and lost herself, defence lawyer Jessica Belisle said.

"It was clearly not a good relationship," that went on for two years, she told Ontario Court Justice John Condon, after her client pleaded guilty to five charges.

Kaiser was convicted of two counts of assault, two counts of breaching probation and a single charge of failing to comply with an order not to communicate with the complainant.

The charges stemmed from incidents that occurred in Wawa in late 2021 and early this year.

Ontario Provincial Police responded to a domestic violence complaint at the couple's home on Nov. 5. 

The pair told officers they had been Involved in a heated verbal argument, assistant Crown attorney Blair Hagan said.

It got physical, and she struck him in the face. He retaliated by hitting her head with a hard plastic shaving kit.

"They had ongoing domestic violence issues and both were charged," Hagan said.

On Jan. 6 of this year, the complainant informed police that she had assaulted him.

Again, they had been Involved in a heated argument that had escalated to a physical confrontation.

He told officers that she had grabbed a butter knife, began scratching his right arm with it and he had "superficial marks" on his bicep, Hagan said.

"Alcohol played a role in the allegations before the court."

The prosecutor and defence jointly recommended that Kaiser receive a suspended sentence and be placed on probation for 18 months.

She spent the equivalent of 101 days in pre-sentence custody prior to being released, the court heard.

When Kaiser was in custody COVID was rampant in the jail, Belisle said.

"They lost custody of their daughter and she lost herself," the defence said.

Kaiser now resides in the Owen Sound area, is working and "once she removed herself from Wawa" there have been no further allegations and "she's not having any contact with him."

The accused told Condon she has been undergoing treatment and counselling.

"I'm working as hard as I can to get my life back to what it was," she said.

Condon commended her for taking rehabilitation programs, particularly residential treatment, "to improve yourself," adding "I hope your issues don't come back to haunt you."

He called her guilty pleas "signs of remorse" that arose from a domestic violence situation that obviously was a dysfunctional relationship.

"I have taken into account your efforts at rehabilitation so you can get back to the life you had before 2021."

During her probation, Kaiser is to have no contact with the complainant and must not be within 50 metres of him.

As well, she must take any recommended assessment and counselling for alcohol abuse and domestic violence.

The judge also imposed a two-year weapons prohibition, and ordered her to provide a DNA sample for the national database.

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About the Author: Linda Richardson

Linda Richardson is a freelance journalist who has been covering Sault Ste. Marie's courts and other local news for more than 45 years.
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