A man originally from Carbonear has been sentenced to 12 years in prison for the brutal killing of a woman in Toronto in January 2011.
Jody George, 40, who was described in media reports last week as a "severe alcoholic," pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the death of 60-year-old Joanne Mitchell.
According to reports, George was extremely intoxicated when he crushed Mitchell's skull with a hammer on Jan. 23, 2011, killing her almost instantaneously. He was originally charged with second-degree murder, but the charge was downgraded because of his drunkenness.
George was a violent offender with 90 convictions on his record. He knew his victim, who was also an alcoholic, and frequently stayed at her Jarvis St. home, according to reports in the Toronto Star and the Toronto Sun.
Justice Ian Nordheimer said the killing “reveals in stark terms” the suffering and toll that alcohol abuse inflicts upon people.
According to the coroner's report, it's estimated that George struck Mitchell at least 16 times, crushing her skull.
When he appeared in court last week, George looked haggard and wore a T-shirt and army green pants. The 21 months he already spent in custody will be deducted from his sentence.
George and Mitchell were familiar faces in the city's downtown core, panhandling for money together outside Union Station.
In mid-2010, they were photographed together as part of a feature about panhandling by The Star newspaper.