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Infamous Osoyoos knife-wielding baby snatcher wins appeal

Baby snatcher wins appeal

Castanet Staff

An Osoyoos woman who barged into a home and wielded a butcher's knife at a young mother while asking to see her baby will be serving less time thanks to a successful appeal of her sentencing. 

Sharon Forner, 47, was sentenced in August, 2019 to a little over 40 months in prison and three years of probation, during which time she would be banished from Osoyoos. 

On Aug. 8 2018, Forner donned a long, dark wig and dish gloves, grabbed a large knife and knocked on the door of Katherine Rinas in Osoyoos, home alone with her four-year-old daughter and infant. 

Forner asked to see the baby, and Rinas shut the door, but Forner re-opened the door and demanded the infant, at which time Rinas forced her out and called 911.

Forner pleaded guilty to breaking and entering with intent to commit a crime with respect to the incident, which made headlines across the country.  

But Forner appealed her punishment, saying it was an "unfit sentence" and questioning the banishment terms, and was successful.

In a Court of Appeal decision published April 7, Justice Christopher Grauer said the original sentence from Judge Gregory Koturbash "erred in principle" and "failed to take proper account of the impact of the appellant’s addiction and mental health issues."

Grauer, on behalf of a three-judge panel, reduced the sentence to 20 months' imprisonment and removed banishment restrictions from Osoyoos.

In the decision, Grauer outlined Forner's "history of depression" and alcohol abuse while on prescribed psychiatric medication. He acknowledged that Rinas is worried that should Forner be allowed back into Osoyoos, she might target Rinas' family, but said appropriate measures are in place. 

"There is no history of similar acts against either the victim personally, or persons in Osoyoos generally," Grauer wrote in his decision, which was supported by both other judges on the appeals panel.

"The fact nevertheless remains that other conditions already protect the victim, barring the appellant from any direct or indirect contact or communication with the victim or her immediate family, and from going to any residence, school, or workplace of the victim or members of her immediate family.  Consequently, the safety of the victim and her children has been addressed."



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