Woman who lost legs reflects on attacker’s dangerous offender hearing

Saskatchewan Provincial Court in Prince Albert. Herald File Photo

Leslie Black, who pleaded guilty to a brutal attack that left a woman with severe burns, a disfigured face and amputated legs, was back in court for a dangerous offender hearing on Monday.

His victim, Marlene Bird, was there to face him.

She said she barely recognized her attacker. He entered Prince Albert’s provincial court with close-cropped, slightly greying hair, and fiddled with his prison-issue green pants during the proceedings.

Bird said Black, currently in custody in a Regina corrections centre, should go to the penitentiary “right away.” If the Crown’s application to declare him a dangerous offender succeeds, he may never get out.

“They should know he’s dangerous,” Bird said. “He left me for dead.”

Black admitted that he lashed out at Bird in a Prince Albert parking lot on June 1, 2014, after she said she would report him for rape. In 2015, he pleaded guilty to attempted murder, saying he kicked and stomped on her that night.

He also set her clothes on fire with a lighter, causing severe injuries that forced doctors to amputate both her legs.

Bird said losing her legs has changed her life “in every way.” She hates feeling powerless to help her elderly mother.

“I have dreams about it, walking. I told my sister, this is the only time I can walk,” she said, “in my dream.”

For more on this story, please see the March 14 print or e-edition of the Daily Herald.