Pembroke man in vicious home invasions gets life in prison for murder
Published Thursday, January 28, 2016 4:31PM EST Last Updated Thursday, January 28, 2016 7:15PM EST
A 28-year-old Pembroke man has been sentenced to life in prison after a drug fueled rampage that left a grandfather dead and many other lives shattered. The victims shared heartbreaking stories in court of that terrible day. 56-year-old Danny Pietersma was stabbed to death in his Petawawa home in June of 2013.
His wife Sharlene was attacked and blinded. A 17-year-old girl next door was viciously attacked. The crime happened in Petawawa; Bryan Goddard was sentenced in Pembroke today to life in prison with no chance of parole for 18 years.
55-year-old Sharlene Pietersma made her way this morning into court, aided by her sister and surrounded by her family. They are her support and eyes now, helping her seek justice for herself and her beloved Danny.
“It's going to be over today,” Sharlene said, “and now I’m on my road to healing.”
Danny Pietersma was stabbed to death in his home on June 28, 2013 in front of his two young grandchildren as he rushed to the aid of his wife Sharlene. Court heard how Bryan Goddard, who was 25 at the time, had run into the Pietersma home after viciously and randomly attacking a 17-year-old girl next door. Danny was murdered. Sharlene was injured and left blind. The grandchildren were traumatized.
“The children will never be the same,” Angela Merchand, Sharlene Pietersma’ niece, told reporters outside court, “that will haunt them for the rest of their life. No amount of help will ever make this go away from them and for me, that's the hardest part.”
In victim impact statements today, the teenager attacked by Goddard addressed him in the prisoner box saying, “It is now your turn to pay for what you have done and I hope you find the time to reflect on all the tragedy you inflicted that day.”
She described to court how she remains terrified of strangers at her door, suffers from depression, anxiety and PTSD. Her mother described how the attack destroyed her daughter’s ability to live life as any other 17-year-old would, terrified to be left alone.
“Our home, which we prided on being a welcoming, loving environment, soon became only four walls,” she told court.
Bryan Goddard was asked by the judge if he had anything to say to the court. He stood up, briefly glanced at the victims, then said that he knew the pain he had caused was irreparable but hoped the life sentence would bring them closure.
The community has rallied around the Pietersma family, even rebuilding a home where the tragedy took place. Sharlene says there are days when she still can't get out of bed.
“Life is like a roller coaster,” she said in a victim impact statement, read to court by her niece Angela Merchand, “with ups and downs and twists and turns. On June 28, 2013 you stole the track out from under me and everything came crashing down. You chose to take your inadequacies and self-loathing out on an innocent family.”
But she says she refuses to be afraid anymore.
“I will never see the world around me but I am no longer afraid of the dark because I know justice will be served. I refuse to let you take my joy and hope in humanity away from me."
Goddard had pleaded guilty last week to 2nd degree murder, attempted murder and aggravated assault. He was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 18 years. He will also serve concurrent terms of 14 years of attempted murder and 6 years for aggravated assault.
The victims say they plan to make sure he's not getting out.
"I will take the 18 in court,” a defiant Sharlene Pietersma said outside court, “but that doesn't mean he's getting out after 18. I’ll be there and my children will be there and my grandchildren will be there.”