A Kashechewan First Nation member who left a blind woman to die in a fire has been sentenced to 18 months in prison.
Simon Wesley, 42, pled guilty to failing to provide the necessities of life after his blind common-law partner, 58-year-old Dorothy Noah, died in a basement apartment fire on Aug. 3, 2011 in Timmins.
On Aug. 9, the Timmins Superior Court of Justice heard that Wesley and Noah were consuming alcohol and engaged in an argument in the afternoon of the fire. Wesley’s defense attorney told the court that Noah had indicated to Wesley an intent to take her own life and went to the bedroom to ignite a fire.
Wesley attempted to extinguish the fire but, according to the defense attorney, Noah became angry and physical with Wesley and prevented him from doing so. Wesley decided to leave despite knowing that the fire continued to grow.
An autopsy revealed that Noah was alive when the fire started and that she died of smoke inhalation.
Wesley’s defense attorney told the court that Wesley expressed grief and was remorseful upon hearing about the death the next day.
Judge Robert Riopelle sentenced Wesley to 18 months in prison followed by two years of probation based on a joint recommendation submitted by the Crown and defense attorneys.
Since Wesley already spent the last year in jail, he will serve another six months. The only condition during Wesley’s probationary period upon being released is that he must not consume alcohol.
National Indigenous Peoples Day which takes place on June 21 and the wider National Indigenous History Month in June is a significant time for Indigenous...