SASKATOON — Maygan Sensenberger and her senator husband exchanged a kiss before they left a Saskatoon court Thursday, where she pleaded guilty to causing a disturbance on a plane, but saw her charge of uttering threats dropped.
Sensenberger, 23, received a one-year suspended sentence and must report to her probation officer in Ottawa, where she lives now with her 69-year-old husband, Manitoba Liberal Sen. Rod Zimmer. The court heard that the officer may recommend she attend personal counselling, a psychological assessment, anger management classes, and alcohol and addictions classes.
When she was arrested Aug. 23 after touching down from an Ottawa-to-Saskatoon Air Canada flight, Sensenberger was also charged with endangering the safety of an aircraft, a serious charge that was later withdrawn.
At that time, Saskatoon police told the media that Sensenberger was accused of creating a disturbance that only got worse throughout the flight and that a domestic argument became especially overheated when she threatened to cut Zimmer's throat.
The pair were discussing Zimmer's recent health problems, when an agitated Sensenberger told him, "If the drugs don't kill you, I will kill you," court heard.
Sensenberger shook her head in apparent disbelief when the testimony was read into the record.
The court also heard that several people on the plane became upset and even tearful hearing some of the violent exchanges.
Sensenberger, who has a previous drunk driving conviction stemming from a crash in her hometown of Collingwood, Ont., in 2008, admitted that alcohol might have been a factor and agreed to addictions treatments.
The couple hadn't been allowed to have face-to-face contact since the case was previously adjourned Aug. 29. They didn't leave each other's side as they walked out of court to a car.
Defence lawyer Leslie Sullivan told reporters outside the courthouse that the sentence was appropriate, unlike the media coverage, which she said has been "extreme" and "abusive."
"It appears that you all have focused on my client and her relationship with her husband and not some of the other, I think, issues that arose throughout this case," Sullivan told reporters. "For example, my client was arrested on the Thursday night and held for almost five days for what was a disturbance on an airplane."