He identifies as a woman and hopes for mercy from the judge

An ex-mixed martial artist guilty of extreme domestic violence says he’s now identifying as a woman in hopes it will spare him a lengthy “indefinite” prison sentence.

• Also read: Four months of horror with a repeat offender

“At the moment I’m taking testosterone to keep fit in prison, I haven’t started my hormone therapy for safety reasons. But I want to be a woman,” Matthew Jody Burke testified at the Montreal courthouse on Wednesday.

Burke, who now wants to call herself Amber, testified to convince a judge that she didn’t deserve the label of a “dangerous offender” for the violence she inflicted on exes.

extreme violence

At the time, Burke was a personal trainer and was considered a straight male. Manipulator, he presented himself as a great romantic to then show his face as a violent abuser.

Thus, his victims had to surrender completely. Burke dictated how they were to dress and closely monitored all of their social interactions.

“He constantly questioned her fidelity and accused her of wanting to seduce other men,” reads the motion to have Burke declared a dangerous criminal.

If the women disobeyed him, he could become violent by strangling them so that they passed out.

And when Burke didn’t attack her with a knife, he threatened to kill her.

Burke had convictions in Ontario in 2005 and Vancouver in 2014, but that didn’t stop him from doing it again in Montreal in 2017.

In the latter case, a judge returned guilty verdicts of assault and assault and death threats.

end of the route

That was enough for the Crown, which demanded that the accused receive one of the worst punishments the Penal Code provides, which is indefinite imprisonment.

However, the defendant has since revealed that she first identifies as a non-binary person, then as a woman.

According to the psychiatrist who evaluated her, it is “probable” that Burke was sincere in his approach and that if the defendant continued with hormone therapy, the risk of a relapse would be reduced.

” [Sans hormonothérapie]It’s hard to have hope of rehabilitation,” the psychiatrist explained, recommending that Burke be given a 10-year long-time offender label instead.

For its part, the Crown questions the sincerity of Burke’s approach.

“That’s what this is about,” said Judge Jean-Jacques Gagné, who will hear the case at a later date.

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