Woman on P.E.I. claims self defence for stabbing partner

Published on November 30, 2016

FILE PHOTO: Chief Provincial Court Judge Nancy Orr


Charlene Mary Acorn fails to convince judge Nancy Orr, gets convicted of aggravated assault

CHARLOTTEOWN, P.E.I. – A woman who claimed she stabbed her partner with a paring knife in self-defence was found guilty Tuesday of aggravated assault and assault with a weapon.

In finding Charlene Mary Acorn guilty, Chief Judge Nancy Orr said she didn’t establish that the stabbing was in self-defence.

Acorn, 21, admitted to stabbing the victim in the parking lot of their apartment building on Sept. 5.

The victim went to hospital with a one-centimetre deep stab wound that required three stitches.

During Acorn’s trial Tuesday, the court heard different versions of events from her and the victim.

Acorn testified the two were in an abusive relationship, and on the night of the stabbing the victim attacked her.

Acorn alleged the victim screamed at her and repeatedly assaulted her, including shoving her against a wall and choking her inside the apartment. 

She said she scratched the victim’s neck while he was choking her.

The victim eventually took their baby outside and put him in his car, telling Acorn she would never see him again, she said.

Acorn testified she followed him outside with a knife she brought from inside the apartment. She said once the baby was in the car, the victim threw her down, slamming her head against the ground. While he was on top of her, she stabbed him in the right side while holding the knife in her right hand as he was facing her, Acorn said.

A neighbour called the police who later found Acorn in a car with two other people after they left a Tim Hortons in Charlottetown.

Acorn still had blood on her clothing and hands.

When the victim testified, he told the court Acorn started the argument and attacked him inside the apartment, grabbing him by the throat, which caused the scratches.

After pushing her away, he picked up their baby, grabbed some diapers and went outside to the car to take their child somewhere safe, he said.

The victim testified Acorn sat in the passenger seat while the car door was open and stabbed him when he turned away from her.

“As soon as I turned my back I got poked in the side,” he said.

Despite Acorn’s claims, the victim denied ever hitting her.

Among several other witnesses, the court heard testimony from two neighbours who said they only heard a male in the parking lot yelling, including telling someone to get off him.

That contradicted Acorn’s testimony that she had been screaming for the victim to get off her.

Orr didn’t accept Acorn’s testimony about the way she stabbed the victim, questioning how it could have happened the way she described.

“I don’t think it’s logical. I don’t think it’s reasonable. I don’t think it’s possible,” Orr said.

She also said in general, she believed the victim’s testimony to be credible and reliable.

Acorn will be back in court Dec. 8 for sentencing.