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'I have been struggling': Victim of Winnipeg Olive Garden stabbing shares horrors of incident, man sentenced

The man accused of stabbing an 18-year-old woman while she worked at a Winnipeg Olive Garden was sentenced last week, as the woman highlighted the emotional and physical scars she still deals with after the attack.

The woman read her impact statement on Aug. 29, questioning her attacker’s decision to stab her that day and detailing her continued road to recovery after the attack.

“Emotionally, I have been struggling because nothing in my life has had the same effect on me as this has,” she said in court.

The court heard on June 8, 27-year-old Robert Alan Ingram was at the Olive Garden on Reenders Drive and randomly and unprovoked attacked the woman. She was stabbed multiple times, including once in her chest, suffering a collapsed lung. She was also stabbed in her wrist, her clavicle and had two lacerations across her neck, as well as multiple defensive wounds to her arm.

Ingram pled guilty to one count of aggravated assault, while two other charges were stayed.

Crown attorney Colin Soul said she is “truly a resilient young woman” while he recapped the events.

Before the attack, the court heard that Ingram was at the restaurant for about an hour and drank three beers. He paid for those beers, left and then came back a short time later for another. The woman was not his server but it was when he returned that he approached her and stabbed her in the neck before pushing her to the ground and stabbing her again.

The woman was taken to hospital in unstable condition and Ingram was found at around 8:30 p.m. in a nearby parking lot, still carrying the knife he had used, which had dried blood on it.


“I wish you chose not to stab someone that day and this is a bit personal, but I’m thankful you chose me. I really am, because not a single one of those grandmas taking their kids out for dinner deserved to get stabbed that night or any of the kids on staff,” the woman said while reading her victim impact statement.

She explained how before the attack she used to be very active and played basketball, but now struggles going up the stairs because of her collapsed lung and sometimes can’t even hold her head up because the muscles in her neck were cut and aren’t strong enough to hold it up.

The woman said she has dealt with a lot in her young life such as racism – as she is a Black Muslim woman – depression and insomnia, and yet this has been the toughest thing she has ever faced.

“None of it compares to those first few weeks back in my home, awake at 3 a.m. in the morning, clutching a kitchen knife under my pillow in the sweltering heat because I couldn’t bring myself to close the window for fear that you had somehow escaped and was waiting for the moment I might go down,” she said.

The day of the attack was also a big day for the woman, as she said she had been begging her bosses to start serving and it was her first day in her new position. She had missed out on her senior skip day from high school to go in for training and said she memorized the menu front to back preparing for the new opportunity.

“I thought instead of my last breath being taken surrounded by family and love when I’m 98 and a half, my last breath was going to be taken staring up at an ambulance ceiling while my $100 uniform I was so excited to wear was getting cut off by paramedics.

“I can’t do anything except wonder why my life was so minuscule to you.”

The woman also shared how her not being able to work has put a financial strain on her family and her mother now has to dip into their savings to continue to send her daughter to university.


The court heard that Ingram has some mental problems and on the night of the attack he wanted to go back to federal prison, even though he had never been previously.

Ingram himself even said in court that he has an unspecified psychotic disorder.

His lawyer said there were other factors at play that led to the attack, but said Ingram is remorseful for what happened.

When he was given time to speak, Ingram apologized to the woman and reiterated the attack, “was not a hate crime.”

While delivering his sentencing, Judge Malcolm McDonald said the incident was troubling and the woman would have to carry the physical and emotional scars for the rest of her life.

“This is a frightening example of somebody picking out somebody randomly to fulfill a really bizarre purpose,” said McDonald.

Ingram was sentenced to six years in federal prison, minus time served. The crown had been calling for an eight-year sentence while the defence was looking for four years. Top Stories

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