'Disgusted and ashamed': Rapist in 3-decade cold case apologizes to victim at sentencing

·2 min read
A Calgary man has apologized to his victim more than 30 years after he broke into her home and raped her. (Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press - image credit)
A Calgary man has apologized to his victim more than 30 years after he broke into her home and raped her. (Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press - image credit)

Thomas Brodie apologized to his victim on Wednesday and said he was a "lost and broken 18-year-old" when he broke into the woman's home and raped her while high and drunk more than three decades ago.

Brodie's crimes took place in 1991.

He was arrested 30 years after the assault by cold case detectives Michelle Moffatt and Trish Allan, who reopened the investigation using advances in DNA technology and then genetic genealogy analysis to track down relatives of the offender.

Last December, Brodie pleaded guilty to break and enter to commit a sexual assault.

On Wednesday, Brodie's sentencing hearing took place as lawyers argued how much time the now 49-year-old should spend in prison.

Prosecutor Pam McCluskey proposed a seven-year prison sentence while defence lawyer Elena Ryland asked the judge to consider a five-year term.

Provincial court Judge Allan Fradsham said in court that he needs time to consider his decision.

Brodie was allowed to address the court as part of his sentencing hearing and apologized to his victim, his family and. the police. He expressed shame and remorse for his "despicable" crime.

'I was terrorized'

On May 4, 1991, Brodie was walking home from a bar when he spotted a woman inside her home.

He broke in through a basement window and raped the 28-year-old woman while her baby slept upstairs. The victim's husband was not home — he had a job that required long hours, often working overnight.

A 911 call made as Brodie began his attack was played in court. All that could be heard was screaming before the call was disconnected.

After the assault, the woman said she had to sell her home immediately because she couldn't stand to be there, and her husband had to quit his job because she couldn't be alone.

"I was terrorized for 20 minutes, 30 years ago, but impacted for a lifetime," the woman wrote in a victim impact statement.

"On May 4, 1991, I was sentenced to life for a crime I did not commit."

Since the sexual assault, Brodie has led an unassuming life. He got married and had four children.

Brodie told the court the night after the attack, he "woke up and couldn't believe I had done such a horrible thing."

"I will be disgusted and ashamed with myself for the rest of my life."