Arnprior man found not guilty of attempted murder in 2018 stabbing of ex-lover

By Bruce McIntyre

Bill Kirby of Arnprior is not guilty of attempted murder after the stabbing of a woman in a wooded area just outside of the town.

In his ruling, Justice Martin James said after Kirby stabbed his former lover, he appeared to realize what he had done and immediately called 911.

Justice James said Kirby, then aged aged 72, led the woman into a forest on September 13, 2018, but he purposely took a knife with him that was far less effective in causing greater damage than the one he left behind in his vehicle.

“If the defendant truly intended to murder the victim then why did he not take the knife that would have been more effective,” Justice James read aloud during the virtual hearing. “I have serious doubts that this meets the threshold of acting beyond a reasonable doubt. “In fact, the defendant immediately called 911 after the victim started to lose consciousness as a result of the stab wound to her stomach and Mr. Kirby’s actions likely saved her life.”

Justice James recounted how the two individuals were involved in a relationship and had lived together, but eventually lived in separate residences, and it appeared the victim was in fact attempting to keep away from the defendant and did not want to pursue a course of reconciliation.

The judge read the agreed upon facts leading up to the day the defendant attacked the victim. The court heard that Kirby and the victim would get together sometimes during her 30-minute lunch breaks, and on this day Kirby drove them to a secluded area, off of Gunsmith Road in McNab Braeside, approximately 20-minutes from the victim’s place of work.

Justice James read the victim’s account, when she said the defendant earlier testified that he put his hand on her shoulder and told her “today’s your day to die you lying slut” and stabbed her in the stomach. At one point he left her and returned to stab her a second time within a 90-minute time frame. The court heard that the victim pleaded with the defendant not to do this and things could be worked out.

On that day, the defendant had a recording device in his pocket. A 40-minute audio recording that was submitted as evidence captures Kirby trying to take his own life, calling 911 for help and the victim begging to not be left alone in the bushes. The recording appears to have started after the second alleged stabbing, but it remains unclear if it was started intentionally or not.

Given all the evidence, Justice James said the Crown, in this case, Assistant-Crown Attorney Caitlin Downing, met the threshold of finding Kirby guilty of assault, kidnapping and issuing death threats, but found him not-guilty of attempted murder.

A sentencing date will be set, where Kirby faces the potential of a lengthy jail sentence. He had previously been found guilty in November 2020 of two counts of assault, one count of sexual assault, another count of indecent assault and for pointing a firearm in another matter.

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