CORNWALL, Ontario – On the weekend before Judge Lafrance-Cardinal hands down her ruling following the brutal attack on a young mother, Supporters of Ashley Thompson gathered in Cornwall on Saturday, December 5, 2021. Thompson was the victim of a brutal attack by her partner, Clayton Delorme, nearly two years ago. The incident of aggravated assault left Thompson in long-term care, and her two children impacted for life.
In a massive display of support for the victim and her family, supporters packed the entranceway and parking lot of the Ontario Court of Justice on Second Street. The rally in support of Thompson was organized on behalf of the victim’s mother, Loraine. Sentencing for Delorme is expected later this week, prompting the community to demand more of the justice system.
“We do not feel that the suggest sentencing is strong enough for the damage that was done. Ashley can’t speak, she’s paralyzed, she’s confined to her bed and in long term care,” said organizer Rebecca Sorrel-Forrester. “She can’t communicate with her children, she can’t take care of her children. She’ll likely be there for the rest of her life, but he’s only looking at a 15 year sentence.”
Delorme has pleaded guilty for this horrific incident of aggravated assault, which took place Dec. 5, 2019. Delorme stomped on Thompson’s head and threw a television on top of her. He also assaulted her son and a police officer on the night of the incident. He is expected to be sentenced to 14 years for aggravated assault, with additional time served for assaulting the minor and a police officer for a total of 15 years.
Members of Thompson’s family and close allies addressed the crowd before supporters joined the family for a march through the city.
“She is the funniest person I ever met, that’s why she is the perfect mom for me,” said Thompson’s young daughter, while addressing the crowd of supporters. “I just want to say that my biggest fear is losing my family, many have already passed away…I just want to see them one more time”
“Domestic violence is rampant…it affects the whole family,” said organizer, Georgina Lazore. “We are here today to demand justice for Ashley…she’s spending the rest of her life in long-term care.”
Violent crimes against Indigenous victims occur at a higher rate than amongst the general population. A startling number of Indigenous women, roughly 60 per cent, have reported partner violence. For children who victims of abuse, the trend is similar with 40 per cent of Indigenous youth reporting to be the victim of some form of childhood mistreatment.
Monday, December 6 is the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. This date nearly coincides with the two year anniversary of Thompson’s attack.