Warning: Some may find the details in this story disturbing
SASKATOON – A Dangerous Offender hearing was held Wednesday for a man convicted of attempted murder and charged with sexual assault, and choking to overcome resistance in two separate incidents.
Thirty-nine-year-old Cory Smockum appeared in Saskatoon Court of Queen’s Bench in person for the hearing. Defence Brian Pfefferle represents him and John Knox is the Crown Prosecutor.
Justice Grant Currie ordered a ban on publication of the victim’s name. There is also a ban on the details of the hearing.
In February 2020, Smockum was found guilty of attempted murder after a five-day trial in Saskatoon.
Four months later, Justice Currie granted the Crown’s application to hold a Dangerous Offender Hearing for Smockum. This meant sentencing of Smockum is postponed until the courts decide whether or not to designate him as a dangerous offender. If Smockum is found to be a dangerous offender the prison sentence can be an indefinite term. In addition, dangerous offenders are subject to lengthy supervision orders.
During Smockum's trial last year, the court heard that Smockum sexually and physically assaulted his former girlfriend in a garage in October 2018, near Hanley, Sask., and threatened to kill “everyone he could that night.”
The court heard that the violent assault occurred in the garage after the two went to a sled rally. The victim testified that Smockum kicked the garage door open, threw her face down on the garage floor, closed the door, got on top of her and punched her continuously in the face with his fist and elbow. She said he called her names and threatened her.
The victim told the court she was choked unconscious three times and she “made peace with dying that night.”
Smockum also sexually assaulted her, the victim told the court. She said she came to and she was on her knees, forced to perform oral sex and he performed anal sex. She said she complied because she was afraid of being hit more. The blood was pooling in her hands and she couldn’t see and couldn’t hear much.
Smockum called the victim’s parents and told them to say goodbye to her because she was going to die that night in the river. He took her on the ATV and said no one was going to find her body and she would end up like Ashley Morin. Morin, who was friends with the victim, was last seen in North Battleford in July 2018. RCMP believe Morin, 31, is a victim of homicide but her body has never been found.
Smockum took the victim through a field on a quad. He was going fast and flipped the ATV. He was under the quad and asked for help. At this point the victim ran away and went to the grain elevator to find help and hide. The police found her there in the early hours of Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018.
She spent six days in hospital and had a brain bleed, broken ribs, injured knees, stitches on her lip, black eyes, ear damage, a cut on the side of her head and bruising.
Smockum was also charged with aggravated sexual assault and choking to overcome resistance. A mistrial was declared on those charges after there was a hung jury.
During Smockum’s trial, the court heard that he had a 2016 conviction for assault causing bodily harm. He was found not guilty of sexual assault causing bodily harm. In that incident, North Battleford RCMP arrested Smockum in 2015 and charged him with sexual assault, assault and choking to overcome resistance. The choking charge was dropped and the assault and sexual assault charges were changed to assault causing bodily harm and sexual assault causing bodily harm, respectively.
On March 11, Knox and Pfefferle will provide final written submissions to the court.
Justice Currie will hand down his decision May 14 in Saskatoon Court of Queen’s Bench on whether or not to designate Smockum as a dangerous offender.