Black file opens: victim speaks of loneliness and pain

Marlene Bird, pictured in Prince Albert earlier this year. Herald File Photo

In a victim impact statement made public Wednesday, Marlene Bird said she is feeling “lonely and traumatized” almost three years after losing both her legs to a brutal attack.

Bird submitted the statement during a dangerous offender hearing for her attacker, Leslie Black, who stomped, beat and burned her in the summer of 2014. If Black is declared a dangerous offender, he could face an indefinite sentence – and will likely spend the rest of his life in prison.

“It’s frustrating that I can’t do anything on my own anymore,” Bird wrote, adding that she always has to depend on her long-time partner, Patrick Lavallee.

In his own statement, Lavallee wrote about the burden Black’s crime has placed upon the couple.

“I can’t leave Marlene more than half an hour unless someone else is with her,” he wrote. “It’s 24 hours, seven days.”

“I feel hopeless that I can’t help her,” Lavallee informed the court.

Bird also wrote about the unending series of medical interventions that followed the attack. According to court records made public the same day, Bird suffered burns to about 40 per cent of her body. Doctors removed what they described as “mummified” tissue, performed numerous skin grafts and kept her in a coma for several days.

“I am in lots of pain and discomfort,” Bird wrote.

She also said that the attack has forced her to abandon an active lifestyle. She wrote that she is no longer able to go “into the bush and at the trap line” and is unable to clean, fish or pick blueberries.

Bird’s statement was released with virtually the entirety of Leslie Black’s court file, including detailed medical reports, a letter of support and two psychological evaluations. The documents help clarify details of the attack, and provide an overview of Black’s troubled life.

For more on this story, see the April 13 print or e-edition of the Daily Herald.