Youth Who Set Woman On Fire Avoids Custody

Friday, April 27, 2007 at 13:46



A 13-year-old girl has been sentenced to two years of probation for setting a woman on fire in La Ronge just over a year ago.


The Crown had asked for 16 months in custody, followed by eight months of community supervision.


During sentencing this morning, the Judge Wilfred Tucker said “to sentence this youth to custody, open or secure, would be to destroy the hope of her rehabilitation and her reintegration into society.”


The teen has also been ordered to apologize to the 26-year-old victim, either in writing or in person.


Tracy Bird suffered third-degree burns after having her hair set on fire while she was passed out behind a business in downtown La Ronge.


In handing down his sentence, Tucker said the teen was only responsible for the burns to Bird’s head and neck — not the “serious, debilitating and life-threatening burns to Ms. Bird’s body, arms and legs.”


Tucker said he also determined the youth’s actions were spontaneous and not premeditated.


Tucker also noted that at the time of the incident, the girl was only six months past the age when she would not have been criminally responsible at all.


He added: “This young person has suffered depression, anxiety, shame and remorse for what appears to be an impulsive, albeit destructive, act. An act that was encouraged by her mostly older peers and the circumstances.”


The probation order requires the youth to obey a curfew, abstain from alcohol and drugs, have no contact with the other youths involved in the incident, and, if necessary, seek treatment and counselling for substance abuse and psychological problems she may have.