4 1/2 years for Edmonton man who broke into elderly woman's apartment, assaulted her

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An Edmonton man who attacked an elderly woman after breaking into her home was intoxicated and off his mental health medication, a judge heard Thursday.

Ahmed Hassan Iltire was sentenced to 4 1/2 years in prison after he admitted to breaking into the 81-year-old woman’s Mill Woods apartment in 2019.

Iltire told court he smashed the ground floor apartment’s patio door hoping to find food or money. He had recently stopped taking his schizophrenia medication, and claimed he assaulted the woman because he believed she was going to attack him.

The woman died in hospital six months later after an unrelated medical issue. She is identified in court documents as S.M.

Iltire, 34, was initially charged with sexually assaulting S.M., but prosecutor Damian Rogers agreed to a plea to the lesser offence of assault. He told court the Crown’s case for sexual assault would have been “entirely reliant” on S.M.’s unsworn statement to police.

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“There was, in the Crown’s submission a triable (sexual assault) case,” he told Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Jody Fraser.

S.M. suffered bruising to her arm and hands after she was assaulted by Ahmed Iltire.
S.M. suffered bruising to her arm and hands after she was assaulted by Ahmed Iltire. Supplied

Iltire shattered the patio door of S.M.’s apartment with a rock around 1 a.m. on May 1, 2019. The two were complete strangers, though Iltire was familiar with the building because a family member lived there.

Iltire walked through the apartment to the bedroom. S.M. heard the door creak and awoke to see a large man in the doorway.

According to an agreed statement of facts, S.M. stood and asked, “Who is it? Who are you?” Iltire then came at her, pinning her to the bed by her shoulders and neck. She screamed. Iltire demanded she keep quiet. At one point, he punched her arm as she reached for a phone, though he also allowed her to drink from a glass of water.

After about 30 minutes, Iltire fled the apartment. S.M. called 911 and was taken to hospital, where medical staff noted bruising on her hands and her right forearm.

Police eventually identified Iltire by two fingerprints left on the sliding patio door. He was arrested later that afternoon and has been in custody since.

S.M. never returned to the apartment. She died that fall in a medical facility. She lived alone and was unmarried, Rogers said, adding the Crown attempted to locate family members or friends but was unsuccessful.

The bedroom where Ahmed Altire assaulted 81-year-old S.M. on May 1, 2019.
The bedroom where Ahmed Altire attacked 81-year-old S.M. on May 1, 2019. Supplied

Iltire has a Grade 11 education and worked mostly labouring jobs. His most stable employment was as a cook in an oil and gas camp. He had no prior criminal record.

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According to court records, Iltire had been diagnosed with schizophrenia two years before the break-in. He was prescribed an injectable medication but stopped taking it because he felt he no longer needed it.

Before the break-in he drank about half a bottle of vodka at a friend’s home.

Walter Raponi, Iltire’s lawyer, said his client has had a difficult time in remand. He is in protective custody, and fell ill with both COVID-19 and tuberculosis.

Iltire apologized in court, saying: “I’m sorry for what I’ve done, and it’s not going to happen again.”

Fraser urged him not to grow complacent about his mental illness.

“The best way to avoid that is to continue to take your medications,” he said. “You need to follow through with that no matter how you feel.”

With credit for time in pretrial custody, Iltire has around 17 months left to serve on his sentence.

jwakefield@postmedia.com

twitter.com/jonnywakefield

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