A woman convicted of assaulting a pregnant woman during a robbery was given additional jail time Wednesday, after she pleaded guilty to threatening a witness.
Sikwan Dawn Ballantyne was already serving a 15-month jail sentence for kneeing a 22-year-old woman in the abdomen. The victim was 34 weeks pregnant at the time. Ballantyne committed the assault while attempting to steal an X-box in March 2016.
In July, Ballantyne was facing a preliminary inquiry, where the Crown called three witnesses. Before one of those witnesses was set to testify, Ballantyne called her mother.
According to the Crown prosecutor, Ballantyne warned the mother that “her daughter better not show up in court.” If she did, Ballantyne said, her boyfriend’s tires “will be slashed up all the time.”
The witness still chose to testify at the hearing.
Ballantyne appeared in Prince Albert’s provincial court from jail on Wednesday via video link. Her lawyer was seeking a concurrent sentence for the threat, which wouldn’t involve any additional jail time. The Crown was seeking to add three months.
Justice E. Kalenith agreed with the Crown, saying her crime “goes to the heart of the justice system”
“The justice system relies on decisions being made based on hearing evidence,” he said, “and any attempt to interfere with that is a very serious matter.”
He rejected a defence argument that Ballantyne’s threat was less blameworthy because the witness still showed up.
“While the witness did attend, in my view that doesn’t really lesson the seriousness of the offence,” Kalenith said. He sentenced Ballantyne to three months consecutive to her 15-month sentence.