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

More funding for Harrison tourism projects on the horizon

Village could see increased funding by 2020

Most cows saved during massive fire on Agassiz farm thanks to fast work of farmers, neighbours

Agassiz Fire Department responded to late night call Wednesday

Risk of thunderstorm this afternoon for Vancouver Island and Lower Mainland

A special weather statement calls for heavy rain and wind over the next 48 hours

Massive fire destroys Agassiz dairy barn

Reports say at least one cow died in the blaze

Chilliwack firefighter seeking to reunite Rosedale VFD’s old auxiliary fire pump with antique engine

It’s been four decades, but Pat Liebault is hoping to reunite Rosedale’s auxiliary pump and engine

Conservation officer frees B.C. deer from flotation gear mishap

BC Conservation Officer Service is reminding residents to keep backyards clear of entanglements

Remainder of Vancouver Whitecaps season filled with ‘must-win’ games: coach

With Vancouver currently sitting four points out of a post-season spot, each contest is crucial

VIDEO: B.C.-born firefighter remembered by MP in emotional speech

Family asks first responders to look after one another in wake of suicide, growing concerns of PTSD

Airline has ‘close call’ with drone while en route to B.C. airport

Jazz Aviation reported the drone sighting near Vancouver to the RCMP and Transport Canada

Tragic accident claims life of B.C. toddler

Fundraising effort has been created to help mom and family

B.C. nanny charged with sex abuse of 3 children

Saanich Police seek potential victims of Johnathon Lee Robichaud from Central Saanich

‘I’m no quitter’ on climate change issues, McKenna says at G7 ministers meeting

David Suzuki says if McKenna believes what she’s saying, she too should quit

Free vet clinic caters to pets of homeless, low income owners in Lower Mainland

The first such clinic in Langley will take place later this month.

VIDEO: Inside an eerily empty mall in Canada

Only nine of 517 retail spaces are open for business as the grand opening postponed to next year

Most Read