Crime

Ashley Kearse tells court about her life after shooting

Three youths will be sentenced later this year

Ashley Kearse read her victim impact statement at the Nova Scotia Courthouse on Spring Garden Road.
Ashley Kearse read her victim impact statement at the Nova Scotia courthouse on Spring Garden Road.   Alexander Quon

Ashley Maclean Kearse wept as she told provincial court about the life which was taken from her by three 17-year-olds during a home invasion last November.

The three youths, who cannot be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, sat in the courtroom and listened as the woman they left paralyzed from the chest down read her victim impact statement.

“On November 30th, I was handed a life sentence and I didn’t do anything to deserve it,” she said.

The three youths pleaded guilty to robbery, breaking and entering, wearing a mask to commit a crime, and aggravated assault.

In her statement, Kearse talked about the pain she continues to feel as a result of her injuries.

“I feel like I’m in a nightmare and I just want to wake up,” she told the court.

Kearse said that due to her paralysis she is no longer be able fulfill her lifelong dreams of becoming a nurse or a mother.

“I am able to get pregnant,” she said. “But having a baby means I have a high risk of dying.”

She then described how, because of her injuries, she is unable to function independently. Kearse is confined to a wheelchair and she needs help to eat and clean herself. As she talked, her mother helped wipe away her tears.

After Kearse finished reading her statement the three defendants and their families stood, and apologized to her.

The mother of one of the defendants expressed her remorse for what had happened.

“Words just can’t explain what you’re going through and I just want to apologize for that,” she said.

The three teens will be sentenced at separate hearings on Nov. 23, Nov. 30 and Dec. 2.