Windsor man gets 9 years in prison in ‘reign of terror’ case
A Windsor man has been sentenced to nine years in prison for kidnapping and assault in a crime described by prosecutors as a "reign of terror."
Thomas Manuel, 43, learned his fate in a Windsor court on Monday morning.
In handing down her sentence Justice Pamela Hebner said the attack on the victim was "shocking, cruel, and demeaning."
Manuel will be given credit for time already served. He will serve another 7 years, 3 months in jail. Parole eligibility will be made by the parole board.
Manuel was charged after a Windsor woman was taken from her home in July 2016, but managed to escape at a truck stop on Highway 401 near Woodstock.
The woman, who cannot be identified under a publication ban, told the court on Jan. 23 she suffers from crippling fear since the incident that started over an argument about patio stones.
Crown attorney Scott Kerwin says Manuel tied her hands and feet, taped her to a pole and shoved a rag in her mouth. Kerwin says Manuel then put a twine-like rope around her neck. He says it was a noose thrown over the rafter. The woman told police Manuel said to her “you're not going to make it out alive.”
Court also heard Manuel untied the woman and forced her out of the house and into the car by putting a knife up her nostril. Manuel tied the woman’s hands and neck to the car's headrest and drove out of Windsor, saying “if you think this is suffering, wait ‘till we get where we're going.”
Kerwin says the woman believed she was being taken to a lime mine pit to be killed.
But at a truck stop on the 401, Manuel went to pay for gas and the woman managed to get free and jumped in the driver seat. She started doing figure eight's to get attention and was stopped by a stranger who boxed her car in. Manuel came out and fled when the stranger called police.
Defence lawyer Rae-Anne Copat says Manuel has had a difficult life. His father killed his infant sister and he then lived in foster care. Manuel also has a criminal record, including 10 convictions when he was a youth. He hasn't worked since 2011 after the mine he was working in collapsed.
The defence was asking for a jail sentence of four to five years, while the Crown is seeking a term of eight to ten years.