A Winnipeg man was sentenced to six years in prison for stabbing an 18-year-old waiter at an Olive Garden restaurant in June.
Robert Alan Ingram, 27, pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated a*sault and was sentenced to six years in prison, less time served. He also received a lifetime weapons ban and an order to provide a DNA sample to the Winnipeg Police Department. Two other charges against Ingram, including breaching a probation order following a previous arson charge, have been stayed.
According to a court audio recording, on June 8, Ingram went to the restaurant on Reenders Drive and drank three beers, while being served by another member of staff. He left briefly before returning and ordering another beer.
The court heard the victim was serving another table when Ingram approached her and ‘without warning or provocation’ stabbed her in the neck, threw her to the ground, got on top of her and continued to stab her. He eventually fled the restaurant and was later arrested by Winnipeg police in a nearby parking lot, where officers found the bloodied gun on him.
The victim was rushed to the Health Sciences Center in an unstable condition. She suffered a stab wound to the chest which punctured and collapsed her lung, as well as stab wounds and lacerations to her wrist, arms, neck and leg.
According to police statements, Ingram told officers his motivation for the attack was a desire to land himself at Stony Mountain Penitentiary, which the judge described as “a chilling example of someone who picks someone at random to accomplish some bizarre goal.
Emotional statement of the victim
The victim made an emotional statement in court, saying June 8, 2023 was his first night on a shift. She had already been a hostess at the restaurant and was trying to start serving.
She said her physical injuries were life-threatening. She had to have her stomach, arms, chest and neck stapled, which still causes her problems. She couldn’t shower properly or wear her hijab, she explained.
“Before, I was very active. I used to go to the gym and play basketball regularly, but since the incident I have had trouble walking up stairs and literally holding my head up,” she told the court.
She said she spent five days in hospital but had to come back after being discharged due to a panic attack.
She said it had an extreme emotional impact. In the past, she has faced racism, depression, insomnia and bereavement, but nothing has affected her as much as the June 8 incident.
“None of this compares to those first few weeks back home, waking up at three in the morning clutching a kitchen knife under my pillow in the sweltering heat because I couldn’t bring myself to close the window. lest you have somehow escaped and be I am waiting for the right moment,” she said in a shaky voice.
She also addressed Ingram directly in court.
“I wish you had chosen not to stab someone that day but – and this is a bit personal – I am grateful that you chose me. I really am, because not one of the grandmothers taking their children out to dinner deserved to be stabbed that night, nor any of the children on staff,” she said.
“Not a single soul deserved to feel that their last breath was going to take place at 18 with nothing under their belt.”
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