Abbotsford man sentenced to four years for 2008 fatal beating of spouse

Daniel Casgrain of Abbotsford was handcuffed and led out of court Thursday morning to begin a four-year prison term in connection with the 2008 beating death of his common-law spouse Hendrikje (Ricky) Priester.

The family of Ricky Priester gathered outside of B.C. Supreme Court in Chilliwack at a previous court appearance for Daniel Casgrain. From left are Lucy Fairhurst and her husband Garrett; Priester's mom

Daniel Casgrain of Abbotsford was handcuffed and led out of court Thursday morning to begin a four-year prison term in connection with the 2008 beating death of his common-law spouse Hendrikje (Ricky) Priester.

But for tearful family and friends, who watched Casgrain’s every move until he was out of the courtroom, it was not enough.

“He should do way more time,” Priester’s sister Lucy said, after the sentencing in B.C. Supreme Court in Chilliwack. “The family has been under duress for four years – and that’s all he gets?”

Initially charged with murder after Priester’s death on March 24, 2008, Crown counsel reduced the charge to manslaughter on the evidence, and then Casgrain pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of aggravated assault.

Justice Catherine Bruce said in her sentencing Thursday that although Priester suffered four broken ribs and numerous abrasions and contusions during a drunken argument with Casgrain, there was no evidence the injuries directly caused the 52-year-old woman’s death.

However, Bruce said that Casgrain, 57, a chronic alcoholic, was aware of Priester’s “weakened condition” due to a heart condition yet continued beating her after she lost consciousness, showing a “callous disregard” for the woman he had lived with for four years.

The court previously heard that Casgrain repeatedly kicked Priester while his shoes were on. He left her bleeding on the kitchen floor, and paramedics were not called until he telephoned family members the next morning.

“He could have saved her life,” Bruce said. “She didn’t deserve to die in such a brutal way.”

But the Justice said she was bound by sentencing principles and case law to deliver a decision similar to others and proportionate to the offence.

Sentences for aggravated assault range from house arrest to six years, although the maximum for the offence is 14 years.

Bruce said the mitigating factors in Casgain’s case were his full confession to the police, his open apology to the family and the remorse he showed in his statement that “he would not have done this if he had been sober.”

But Bruce added that drunkenness was also an aggravating factor because Casgrain should have known its effect on his temper, and Priester’s “helpless” state at the time and her reliance upon him.

“She should have been able to trust him not to harm her,” Bruce said.

Casgrain’s criminal record includes an earlier assault conviction in 1996, and 10 impaired driving charges, the last one in 2004.

He was also charged in April of this year for resisting arrest after police received a report that a drunken man was causing a disturbance at a clothing store on McCallum Road. When they arrived, the suspect allegedly tried to punch the officer who placed him in handcuffs.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of Oct. 18

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

Abbotsford’s Jake Virtanen, Vancouver Canucks playing waiting game for new contract

Yale Hockey Academy product files for arbitration with Canucks, hearing set for Oct. 28

“Solitary” Update: Dramatic action scene to be filmed in Agassiz

‘Solitary’ will film a break-in, getaway at Kent Outdoors

Schnitzelz restaurant returns to Abbotsford

Fried meat establishment moves from Aldergrove to Abbotsford

Abbotsford student dies after medical incident in class

Rick Hansen Secondary School offering additional counselling for students who require it

167 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death recorded as B.C. enters 2nd wave

Three new healthcare outbreaks also announced

At least 49 cases of COVID-19 linked to wedding in Calgary: Alberta Health

McMillan says the city of Calgary has recently seen several outbreaks linked to social gatherings

Wreckage of decades-old plane crash discovered on mountain near Harrison Lake

A team of Sts’ailes Community School students helped discover the twisted metal embedded in a glacier

ERT, VPD response to White Rock home connected to homicide: police

Search underway in the 15800-block of Prospect Crescent

‘I am not leaving without my son,’ says mother of missing Manning Park hiker

Family and friends continue to search for Jordan Naterer, after official efforts suspended

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Bear kills llama on Vancouver Island, prompting concerns over livestock

Officers could not track the bear they feel may not fear humans

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

B.C. dad pledges to appeal quashed call for mandatory masks, distancing in schools

Bernard Trest and Gary Shuster challenged health, education ministries’ return-to-school plan

Most Read