Man who beat, sexually assaulted Surrey senior gets 13-year sentence
Published Friday, April 21, 2017 2:27PM PDT
Last Updated Friday, April 21, 2017 5:51PM PDT
A man who pleaded guilty to a violent assault of a South Surrey senior has been sentenced to 13 years in prison.
Stephen Thomas Morse, a 43-year-old from Langley, entered his plea last week to some of the charges initially filed in 2015, including sexual assault and aggravated assault.
Both the Crown and defence asked for a sentence of 13 years, of which he would serve just over 10.5 with credit for time served.
The charges stem from an incident in August 2015, details of which were made public during his sentencing hearing on Friday.
Morse visited the 70-year-old victim's neighbourhood dressed in a disguise that included a wig, and posed as a gas company worker at another home before the assault occurred.
Armed with a knife, he gained access to the victim's home, then tied her wrists and bound her face. He demanded cash, her PIN and the access code to a gun safe in her home.
He then punched the woman, leaving her with fractures and permanent nerve damage, then removed some of her clothing. He posed her in "sexually compromising positions" while ransacking the house, then ran off with her PIN and some of her jewelry, including her wedding ring.
He was captured on video withdrawing money from the victim's account at an ATM.
The victim managed to free herself from the restraints and ran to a neighbour's home to call police. She was traumatized by the incident, which left her with non-life-threatening injuries.
In a statement read in court, the victim said her life was changed by the assault.
"I still do not feel safe in my house," her statement said. Her husband told the court that she still has nightmares, two years after the incident.
"The day he walks free will be a dark day," her daughter said in a statement, adding that the family will always be wondering where Morse is.
The Crown says he spent months planning and preparing to commit a crime, and hundreds of dollars on supplies. Morse was not previously known to police, and letters from his family said relatives were shocked when they heard of his arrest.
The court heard that the assailant was previously married and has two children. He did computer database work for many years before being laid off in 2014.
Morse addressed the court during the hearing, apologizing for his actions.
With files from CTV Vancouver's Maria Weisgarber