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'I was in the fight for my life'

Feb 28 2012

Const. Lane Douglas-Hunt saw the sun glinting off a knife blade and the blade was aimed directly at her head.

The 25-year-old Victoria police officer testified Monday on the opening day of Guy Hervé Séguin's attempted murder trial in B.C. Supreme Court.

Nervous and, at times, tearful, Douglas-Hunt told a four-woman, eight-man jury how she had responded to a shoplifting call at a downtown 7-Eleven store at 813 Douglas St. on Jan. 17, 2011, and ended up in the fight of her life.

Séguin, 58, a balding, bespectacled man in a shirt and sweater, sat impassively in the prisoner's dock as Douglas-Hunt described how he suddenly and viciously attacked her. A number of police officers sat in the public gallery, showing their support.

Douglas-Hunt testified that as she left the 7-Eleven that morning, she held the door open for Séguin.

"I was trying to get out. He was trying to get in. - I looked at him. He looked at me," she recalled.

"I said, 'There you go, sir.' "

Séguin looked at her for a noticeable, awkward period, she recalled.

"He said, 'Actually, no.' He grabbed my face in both his hands, and pretty aggressively, his thumbs were kind of in my eyes."

Douglas-Hunt saw Séguin reach behind his back with his right hand for a knife before stabbing her in the neck.

"He telegraphed it all the way with a big hooking swing. I felt it pull my earring out and rip my skin. I knew I was in a bad spot," she testified.

The officer called in a 10-33, the code for an officer in serious trouble. She felt a surge of adrenalin as Séguin went for her again.

"I knew I was in the fight for my life. I thought to go for my gun."

Séguin kept coming at her. She continued to block his swings, then decided to take him to the ground. "During the time he was in the air, he still had my neck in a clinch," testified Douglas-Hunt. "He said, 'No cop is ever going to hurt me again.' "

Séguin's back hit the ground and Douglas-Hunt sat on top of him, trying to control his right arm. He stabbed her in the neck again.

"I'm going to kill you, bitch," she recalled him saying. "I saw the look on his face. He didn't have to say anything. It was very apparent he was trying to take my head off."

Douglas-Hunt pinned Séguin. She thought about going for her gun again.

"I took a look at his face and the spot on his face where I wanted to shoot him," she testified. "I gave myself a little pep talk: 'You've got to do this now.' "

But Séguin was making different motions with the knife and she kicked it out of his hand. She hit him repeatedly in the face with a closed fist, she testified.

A passerby helped Douglas-Hunt handcuff Séguin. Then she and Séguin, both exhausted after the struggle, shared a weird silent moment, she said.

"I thought, 'I never tried to hurt you. I don't even know you.' The look on his face had changed. It was drained of intensity."

Douglas-Hunt realized her left hand was in shreds. Skin was falling off the bone. As other officers rushed to her aid, she realized it was over - "I was going to be OK."

During cross examination, Douglas-Hunt told defence lawyer Jordan Watt she did not know how many times Séguin's arm went up and down. She also could not be sure whether Séguin had both his hands on her face.

ldickson@timescolonist.com