Edmonton man pleads guilty to break-in and attack of 81-year-old woman

Early one morning in May 2019, Ahmed Iltire was intoxicated, broke and hungry. For the previous two months, he’d skipped the monthly injections he was supposed to take to treat his schizophrenia.

He’d spent the evening drinking half of a 26-ounce bottle of vodka at a friend’s house, then set out in search of money and food. 

At about 1 a.m., the 32-year-old approached a ground-floor apartment in southeast Edmonton, picked up a rock and smashed the window. That allowed him to reach through and unlock the patio door. 

Iltire passed through the living room and entered the bedroom where the 81-year-old woman who lived there on her own was sound asleep. Her identity is protected by a court-ordered publication ban.

Awakened by the sound of the bedroom door opening, she saw a large person in the doorway. “Who are you?” she asked as she stood up. 

Later, Iltire told police he thought the senior was attacking him and that’s why he began assaulting her. 

The assault knocked the mattress off the bedspring in the 81-year-old victim’s apartment. (Court Exhibit/Edmonton Police Service)

Iltire approached the bed quickly and put both hands on her shoulders to hold her down. She felt like she was being choked but remained conscious. 

When he stopped, she began screaming for help. Iltire told her to stay quiet. 

Iltire continued to assault her over several minutes. At one point, she tried to reach for the phone but he punched her in the forearm. He kept her pinned to the bed by holding down her arms or her legs. He later admitted he slapped her.

According to an agreed statement of facts, the victim asked for a drink of water and he allowed her to have some. 

Iltire left the apartment on his own after 30 minutes. His victim immediately called 911.

Police were able to track down the suspect within hours due to two fingerprints left on the patio door.

Assault marked end of independence for victim

Iltire was originally charged with break-and-enter and sexual assault. He had no criminal record.

On Thursday, he pleaded guilty to break-and-enter and assault. Crown prosecutor Damian Rogers and defence lawyer Walter Raponi entered a joint submission of 54 months for sentencing, which was accepted by Court of Queen’s Bench Justice George (Jody) Fraser. 

He’s been in custody since his arrest in May 2019. Court was told that he’s currently in protective custody and during his time in the Edmonton Remand Centre, he contracted COVID-19 and tuberculosis. 

“It was touch-and-go while he was in custody,” Raponi said. “He advised he wished to take responsibility and move forward.”

Iltire, now 34, expressed his remorse to the judge. 

The 81-year-old victim suffered bruises during the attack. (Court Exhibit/Edmonton Police Service)

“I’m sorry for what I’ve done and it’s not going to happen again,” Iltire said. 

With credit for time already served, Iltire faces another 17 months behind bars. 

“If anything like this happens again, you may well spend the rest of your life in prison,” the judge told Iltire, while advising him the best way to avoid future trouble is to keep taking his medications. 

“It should have been fairly quickly apparent to you that you were dealing with an elderly female and should have immediately left,” Fraser added. “There was no reason to engage in the physical contact with her.”

The victim was admitted to hospital following the assault. 

Six months after she was attacked in her own home, she died in a medical facility. She never returned to her apartment. 

An obituary described the 81-year-old as an “honest, trustworthy and loving daughter, sister and friend,” adding, “her passion, positive outlook and zest for life will surely be missed.”

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