Amanda Lindhout is photographed in Toronto on Monday, October 16 , 2017, as she helps promote her mother Lorinda Stewart’s book “One Day Closer.” A tearful Lindhout says she has crippling flashbacks and sometimes wakes up screaming due to her kidnapping ordeal in Somalia. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

Sobbing Amanda Lindhout says kidnapping inflicted emotional, physical scars

A tearful Amanda Lindhout says she has crippling flashbacks and sometimes wakes up screaming due to her kidnapping ordeal in Somalia.

A tearful Amanda Lindhout says she has crippling flashbacks and sometimes wakes up screaming due to her kidnapping ordeal in Somalia.

At a sentencing hearing Wednesday for hostage-taker Ali Omar Ader, Lindhout said the sexual assault, beatings and emotional trauma she suffered in captivity filled her with pain and self-loathing.

“I was a young woman wanting to rebuild my life,” Lindhout told a hushed courtroom. “But the abuse had made me hate myself.”

Ader, a 40-year-old Somalian national, faces up to life in prison after being convicted of hostage-taking late last year.

Related: Sobbing Amanda Lindhout tells of abduction as kidnapping trial begins

Ontario Superior Court Justice Robert Smith ruled that Ader was a “willing participant” in the 2008 kidnapping of Lindhout, who was working as a freelance journalist near Mogadishu at the time.

The judge found little to believe in Ader’s testimony, saying it did not support his claim that he was forced into serving as a negotiator and translator on behalf of a gang who threatened to harm him and his family.

Lindhout, raised in Red Deer, Alta., and photographer Nigel Brennan of Australia were snatched by armed men while pursuing a story, the beginning of 15 months as hostages.

Years after their release, the RCMP lured Ader to Canada on the pretext of signing a lucrative book-publishing deal, leading to his arrest in Ottawa in June 2015.

Lindhout said her brutal confinement left her with severe post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, the inability to sustain friendships, insomnia, nightmares, digestive problems and broken teeth.

“For years after my release I couldn’t really believe I was free.”

Lindhout said she wished good things for Brennan as well as Ader’s wife and five children in Somalia.

Brennan also read a victim impact statement, saying he too has suffered from post-traumatic stress, panic attacks and nightmares. Being forced to hear Lindhout’s screams from torture in an adjoining room is “a memory that will mentally stay with me for the rest of my life,” he said.

Brennan said his friendship with Lindhout had deteriorated as a result of the horrendous events, and that they had not spoken in almost seven years.

Still, Brennan said he no longer had hatred in his heart toward Ader and does not want him to spend his life behind bars. He stressed the importance of forgiveness and urged the judge to “show leniency.”

Samir Adam, one of Ader’s lawyers, said a sentence of between 10 to 12 years in prison would be appropriate.

Ader read a statement in which he expressed remorse, saying he was human and therefore flawed.

“I am sorry, I apologize and ask you for forgiveness,” he said, requesting freedom so he could care for his family in Somalia.

Jim Bronskill , The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

Just Posted

Changes coming to BC Ferries reservations for Vancouver Island routes

Many customers are booking multiple reservations, inflating wait times

Comox Valley Santa’s Workshop in need of bicycles for youngsters, gifts for teens

Santa’s Workshop, at 464 Puntledge Road (formerly the Red Cross building), is… Continue reading

Film documents transformation of snowboarders, surfers

Former professional athletes forged deep ties with communities

Transitioning back into the world

Courtenay man had been living outdoors before starting Sally Ann program

1st Indigenous woman to start Canadian airline looks to B.C.’s remote regions

Teara Fraser is the first Indigenous woman in Canada to start her own airline, called Iskwew Air

Canadian Armed Forces to change approach to sexual assault investigations

New program aimed at a more open and transparent process, will consult with civilians, health and law professionals

Mid Island Farmers Institute discusses fleece at November meeting

Are you a lover of wool and local fibre? Interested in raising… Continue reading

Comox Valley Nature invites the public to learn about nature photography

Comox Valley Nature is hosting a public lecture on photography. Join Terry… Continue reading

UPDATE: Death of 38-year-old Fernie man at B.C. coal mine under investigation

Vehicle collision occurred at approximately 10:45 a.m. Sunday morning

Breathing polluted air during pregnancy may increase odds of baby having autism: SFU study

Study looked at nearly all births in Metro Vancouver between 2004 and 2009

Six students arrested, charged in sex assault probe at Toronto all-boys school

The school’s principal, Greg Reeves, described the video of the alleged sexual assault as ‘horrific’

Bankruptcies in British Columbia on the rise

Consumer bankruptcies climbed by 6. 1 per cent in August 2018 from the same month last year.

World Toilet Day floats some serious health issues

Needs More Spikes blog finds 136 people are currently peeing in Vancouver Island city

Most Read