Matthew Foerster made a reappearance in a Kelowna courtroom this week to face up to two violent attacks he levied on women before he killed Armstrong teen, Taylor Van Diest.
For a 2004 break and enter and assault on a Cherryville woman he was sentenced Wednesday to six years in prison. For a 2005 sexual assault of a Garden of Eden sex worker, he also received a six-year sentence.
The 28-year-old from Cherryville, who kept his eyes downcast throughout his most recent round of court proceedings, will serve those terms concurrent to the life sentence for which he’s already incarcerated, which means there will be little change in his life.
The guilty pleas, however, are a milestone in the lives of his victims, one of whom appeared in court to tell her attacker the ways his violent act changed her life.
“On the day I was attacked, I woke up and blood was coming out of my head. There was so much blood, it covered my body,” she said, of the events of Oct. 19, 2004, as Foerster stared at the ground in front of him.
“I have never been so scared in my life.”
She was 19-years-old at the time of the attack, and asleep in her Cherryville home when Foerster broke into her room, grabbed her and knocked her head against her bedroom wall.
“Come with me,” he said, referring to her by name.
The woman knew the voice, as Foerster was a friend of her younger brother, according to the agreed statement of facts which was read into the record. However, she was disoriented, in pain and afraid.
She fell to the floor in the hallway of her home, and when she looked up she noticed that Foerster had a handgun tucked into his pants. He removed it and held it at his side.
The young woman asked Foerster if he was going to shoot her.
He said, no.
When she asked what he wanted, he replied, “I want you.”
She twice told him she was going to pass out. Then he left.
The young woman told Mounties in Cherryville who her attacker was. They called him into the station, but his father, Stephen Foerster, insisted on being in the interview room. While there, he offered an alibi for the time in question and the matter was not pursued further, according to the statement of fact.
It wasn’t until Matthew Foerster was arrested for Van Diest’s Oct. 31, 2011 murder that he admitted to the attack on the Cherryville woman.
“I liked her at the time… I just never thought it would work,” Foerster told a police officer.
That interest left long lasting damage.
His victim’s head was split in two during the attack, she temporarily lost hearing and her jaw was damaged. Muscle pain followed, but the most significant damage was emotional.
“I will never be the person I was before the attack,” she told the court, as tears streamed down her face.
Sleep no longer comes easy and she moved from her hometown, suspicious of those around her and continually stressed.
It’s affected her ability to work, and form relationships.
Foerster’s next victim wasn’t in court Wednesday, but her story was outlined in the agreed statement of fact.
Crown counsel Iain Currie told the court that Foerster went to the escort agency in downtown Kelowna in the interest of procuring some services.
The woman gave Foerster a tour of the facility, and when she was alone with him, he pulled out a knife, and had her comply to two sexual acts without her consent.
She reported it to the authorities, and it’s through that investigation that DNA that ultimately tied Foerster to Taylor Van Diest’s murder was procured.
He also confessed to that attack after the arrest for Van Diest’s murder.
Foerster is in the middle of a rehabilitative program in prison. His lawyer, Lisa Jean Helps, said his guilty plea saved the victims the difficulty of a trial, and noted that could be taken as an expression of his remorse.
Foerster was also given a lifetime firearms prohibition and no contact order with either of the victims.
An appeal of his first degree murder conviction has been filed.