If she hadn’t gotten away that day, Justin Cox’s victim believes she would have died.
That’s what court heard Tuesday afternoon in a victim impact statement at the former Saskatchewan Roughrider’s sentencing hearing.
Cox pleaded guilty to assaulting his now ex-girlfriend in September. Her name is protected by a publication ban.
The 23-year-old did not appear in person for the hearing, but the crown prosecutor read her statement to the court on her behalf and also revealed the details around the assault.
The day it happened, Cox and his ex-partner were on their way to Shoppers Drug Mart at the Normanview Mall to pick up a pregnancy test as the victim believed she was pregnant.
The court heard that Cox began assaulting her in the parking lot of the Normanview Mall and continued to punch and elbow her as he drove through traffic to the site of the old Mosaic Stadium.
At the stadium, she was able to escape from the vehicle and flag down a passerby who let her into his vehicle. Cox, was nearby and tried to explain the situation, but the witness insisted on taking the woman to the hospital.
Cox then attempted to jump through the open window and take control of the vehicle, pulling at the steering wheel and trying to remove the keys.
When this failed, Cox jumped on the hood of the car.
Eventually, the witness and Cox’s former partner were able to get away and drive to the hospital.
The victim suffered a broken nose, was bleeding from her ear and lip and had blood around her eye. There were also numerous bruises. The hospital also confirmed that she was pregnant, the Crown prosecutor said.
The Crown added that while investigating, police found the woman’s blood on the shirt Cox was wearing when he was arrested, as well as in the rental car they drove from Shoppers to the old stadium in.
In the impact statement, the woman said she still lives with the attack every day and the trauma and stress made her pregnancy high-risk.
She’s since moved across the country and gave birth to a little boy in April, the Crown said.
In the victim impact statement, the woman also said that Cox repeatedly harassed her and had women he was dating harass her through messaging apps in an attempt to convince her not to testify.
According to the statement, at one point Cox texted her father saying “your daughter better help me in court before its too late” and “she was a lowlife when I met her.”
Contact between Cox and his ex-girlfriend was a breach of the terms of his bail he consistently violated, the Crown argued.
For his part, Cox stood up in court and apologized.
“I’m sorry for everything that happened,” Cox said, also apologizing specifically to his ex-partner.
“I hope I get another chance,” Cox added.
The Crown is asking for 12 months jail time and 18 months probation which would include anger management, domestic violence programming, and a substance abuse program.
The defence asked for significantly less jail time than the Crown or no jail time at all accompanied with an elevated fine he could pay off in the community and probation that would including programming for anger management.
Cox will be sentenced in early December with a date to be set next week.
He also has two additional charges pending before the courts including a preliminary hearing for an assault with a weapon charge on Dec. 18 and a trial for another assault charge in March.
Cox played one full season with the Roughriders, eventually being named the club’s rookie of the year in 2016.