Sentencing Submissions Heard In A Windsor Courtroom In Reign Of Terror Case

Sentencing submissions were heard Tuesday in a Windsor courtroom in a case the crown referred to as a "reign of terror".

Thomas Manuel, 43, pleaded guilty in January to six counts of assault, forcible confinement, kidnapping, making threats, choking and assault with a weapon.

Following an argument over patio stones in July 2016, Manuel punched a woman, tied her to a post in a basement at a home on Montcalm St,  and then forced her into a car by putting a butcher knife up her nostril.

They left the city on the 401 and she managed to escape near Ingersoll after Manuel stopped for gas.

The defence is asking for a sentence of 4-5 years in prison, saying it was a spontaneous event and the confinement lasted 3-4 hours.

Pointing to his criminal record, defence lawyer Rae-Anne Copat said there were gaps between offences, noting 17 entries of convictions over a 28 year span.

The crown is asking for more prison time, in the 8-10 year range, saying it was 'prolonged terror' as Manuel asked the woman if she wanted to die now or later and threatened he was going to make her suffer.

"It was only by the grace of God that she managed to escape," said Assistant Crown Scott Kerwin.


Thomas Manuel leaves Superior Court. January 23, 2018

The victim took the stand in a victim impact statement describing the debilitating anxiety and fear she feels in doing simple tasks such as grocery shopping.

"I'm not the person I used to be," she said. "I feel like I am starting life over."

The woman's name can not be published due to a publication ban.