Man who pleaded guilty to brutal sex assault declared dangerous offender
The man behind a brutal sexual assault that occurred inside a Vancouver home three years ago has been labelled a dangerous offender.
The decision regarding Caleb Heaton was made Monday following a lengthy hearing. Heaton was given an indeterminate sentence.
Dangerous offender designation is given only to the country's most dangerous violent and sexual offenders, Public Safety Canada says. The designation can be given during sentencing if the court is satisfied that the offender is a threat to the life, safety or well-being of the public.
The decision was made following a guilty plea to aggravated assault, unlawful confinement and breaking and entering. All other charges against Heaton were stayed.
The Ontario man was 25 when he was accused of sexually assaulting and torturing a woman inside her Strathcona home in March 2015. Court documents alleged Heaton used a rock and knife in the attack, which took place around noon on a weekday.
Police said they believe Heaton entered the victim's home through an unlocked door, tied her up and assaulted her. He then choked her with clothing and severed one of her fingers, police said at the time.
A Good Samaritan heard her screams and ran inside, interrupting the attack. He punched the suspect several times before the struggle spilled out onto the street. Other witnesses came running and helped hold the suspect down until police arrived.
After Heaton was identified, CTV News obtained documents showing he had a criminal record in the Kitchener, Ont. area which included the armed robbery of an electronics store.
His grandmother said at the time that he had a history of mental illness which included severe schizophrenia.
Heaton was also sentenced to four months to be served concurrently for a single count of escaping custody from May 2015.