ALBERTA

Leslie Black, Saskatchewan Man, Asks To Withdraw Guilty Plea Of Setting Woman On Fire

11/12/2015 03:38 EST | Updated 11/12/2015 05:59 EST
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PRINCE ALBERT, Sask. — A Saskatchewan man who pleaded guilty to a brutal attack on a woman that included setting her on fire wants to withdraw his plea.

Leslie Black pleaded guilty in April to the attempted murder of Marlene Bird on June 1, 2014, in Prince Albert.

Bird, 48, was cut, burned and needed to have both legs amputated because of her injuries.

Black on Thursday asked for and was granted an expungement hearing after recanting some parts of an agreed statement of facts.

At the hearing, Black is to present evidence to try to convince the judge to allow the plea to be withdrawn.

Solomon Ivan Black was in court for his son's appearance.

"I'm just here to support my son and just to be here with him now,'' Solomon Black said outside court. "I love him and I miss him dearly.''

The father said he and his son were "close, but not that close.'' He said Black was living with him at the time of Bird's attack.

He also said his son was friendly but struggled with alcohol and drug addictions.

The elder Black said his son was drunk the night of the attack and he urged him to stay home.

"I was kind of worried about him because he would go out and get drunk and pass out,'' he said.

He said he was not around for much of his son's childhood. He said Leslie was taken into foster care in Alberta after witnessing the death of his mother.

"He saw, right from the start to the end, when his mother got brutally murdered in front of him. I think that has had a lot to do with his mind and stuff like that.''

As part of a pre-sentence report, Black underwent a psychiatric assessment in June. During a court appearance in September, he requested that he be further assessed.

"I believe there is something wrong with me and I need some help.''

Black's expungement hearing has been set for March 10.

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