12/13/2017 13:57 EST | Updated 12/15/2017 10:41 EST

Alberta man's sentencing delayed due to wait for psychiatric assessment: lawyer

LETHBRIDGE, Alta. — An Alberta man's sentencing for a random sexual assault and attack on a woman walking to work has been put off until March.

Denzel Dre Colton Bird, who is 21, pleaded guilty in September to aggravated sexual assault and break and enter.

He attacked a 25-year-old woman with a weapon, dragged her into an alley and sexually assaulted her in Lethbridge, Alta., in September 2016.

The woman was in hospital in Calgary in a medically induced coma for weeks and she has had to relearn how to walk and talk.

Bird’s lawyer says his client is on a waiting list for a forensic psychiatric assessment and a Gladue report, which considers the accused’s Indigenous background.

Bird’s sentencing is now scheduled for March 28.

Another case was also delayed Wednesday due to waits in getting court-ordered psychiatric assessments.

Abdulahi Hasan Sharif was in court to face 11 charges resulting from a car attack outside a football game in Edmonton on Sept. 30.

The driver got out, pulled out a knife and began stabbing the police officer.

Hours later a cube van sped down Jasper Avenue, one of Edmonton's main streets, hitting and injuring four pedestrians.

Sharif is also charged with dangerous driving and possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose.

An Alberta Health Services official says the delay is due to an increase in court-ordered assessments.

A total of 1,000 assessments are expected to be done in Edmonton this year, up from 500 three years ago, said Mark Snaterse, executive director of addiction and mental health with Alberta Health Services.

Sharif was scheduled to be seen by doctors on Thursday and is due back in court on Jan. 12.

(CTV Calgary, The Canadian Press)