06/21/2017 16:09 EDT | Updated 06/21/2017 16:13 EDT

Melissa Gabriel, Winnipeg Woman Who Stabbed Elderly Neighbour 68 Times, Sentenced To 12 Years

She told police she "just lost it."

Bill Oxford
Woman in handcuffs.

WINNIPEG — A Winnipeg woman who told police she "just lost it" and stabbed an 89-year-old neighbour to death for no reason has been sentenced to 12 years in prison for manslaughter.

Melissa Joyce Gabriel, who is 37, had previously admitted she stabbed Dorothy Dykens 68 times in 2015.

Provincial court Judge Ryan Rolston described Gabriel as a "ticking time bomb" who was aware she was mentally ill and became violent when she drank.

The judge noted Gabriel hasn't taken sincere steps to deal with her issues and, until she does, she will remain a danger.

Attack was random

Rolston said Dykens was the victim of a vicious, random attack and described her as extremely vulnerable.

He credited Gabriel for 39 months of time already served, which reduces her remaining sentence to nine years and nine months.

Prosecutors had sought a 15-year sentence for Gabriel, arguing she had repeatedly failed to follow substance abuse programs and take her medication as required.

Winnipeg police found Dykens dead in her home on May 17, 2015, shortly after an intoxicated Gabriel called 911 from a nearby residence.

Officers found blood-soaked knives and a small dog that had also been stabbed.

Soon after, they found Dykens dead with a broken knife blade in her back.

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