Breezy beater avoids link to past cruelty

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Jan 23, 2014 in Rat News | Subscribe

Breezy will be avenged, but no one will speak for the wee chinchillas.

Steven Helfer — possibly Ottawa’s most reviled figure thanks to his savage attack on Breezy the dog — no longer faces the danger of testimony linking him to previous acts of animal cruelty.

Though Helfer, 24, had admitted in December to battering Breezy, Crown prosecutor Tara Dobec wanted to call evidence that he’d also stomped to death a litter of chinchillas, skinned a number of pet rats and threatened to do likewise to his mother.

It was alleged the chinchillas — animals that look like fat, fluffy bunny/squirrel hybrids — had been as noisy as they were cute, prompting Helfer to visit his wrath upon the mother critter and her tiny offspring.

Helfer disputed these allegations, but Dobec wanted to call evidence to substantiate them so she could argue for a stiffer sentence. But Dobec said Wednesday all of her witnesses had proved problematic.

Cops armed with subpoenas, for instance, hadn’t managed to track down Helfer’s elusive sister.

“She appears to be evading service,” Dobec said.

Helfer’s mother is “suffering from some form of emotional instability.” She had told police she was terrified of her “monster” son but Dobec said doctors feared forcing her to testify “would further damage her mental state.”

The third prospective witness, the mother’s boyfriend, had proved uncooperative, Dobec said. He, at least, showed up to court. Wearing a dark suit and with his hair in a ponytail tied back with a blue elastic band, he nervously paced the courthouse atrium before being sent away.

The youthful Helfer, now sporting a mohawk, seemed indifferent to the drama and sat quietly in the prisoner’s box with his head down during the short proceeding.

His lethargic presence was unlike the frenzied agitation with which he set about maiming his 18-month-old dog — a Christmas gift from his mother — on Oct. 16.

Steel-toed boots, a rake and a shovel left bloody imprints on Breezy’s body. Helfer stopped only when the young Labrador-Shepherd cross could no longer struggle to its feet, at which point he tossed the stricken dog in a dumpster.

Helfer is still awaiting completion of a 60-day psychiatric assessment ordered last month.

A date for sentencing submissions has not been set, but he’ll make a brief court appearance Feb. 14.

tony.spears@sunmedia.ca

Twitter: @ottawasuntonys

Article source: http://www.ottawasun.com/2014/01/15/breezy-beater-avoids-link-to-past-cruelty

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