Bob Florence, a journalist with the Saskatoon StarPhoenix newspaper, has been on a long road to recovery since he was seriously injured in an unprovoked attack in February. ((CBC))

A woman who says she witnessed what happened on the night Saskatoon journalist Bob Florence was seriously injured claims the attack was a defensive move.

Florence, 50, continues to recover from injuries he received in the Feb. 27 incident. He has no recollection of the event.

Charles Robert Ellwood, 22, was arrested Wednesday and charged with aggravated assault.

Catherine Ellwood, who says she saw what happened, told CBC News Friday that her husband did not mean to hurt Florence.

She explained that the incident began as an argument between her and her husband as they were walking home that night.

They must have attracted the attention of Florence, who — according to the woman — surprised her husband.

"All of a sudden somebody came up behind him and went and grabbed his shoulder and kind of pulled on him," Ellwood said.

She said her husband was reacting to that. "He turned around and punched him [Florence] in the face."

According to Ellwood, her husband hit Florence once.

She says they saw Florence collapse and they continued home.

"I don't know why people should believe us," she said. "But it's what happened. I was standing right beside him."

She added that her husband is not a violent person.

Parole Board had concerns

However, documents from the National Parole Board released Friday to CBC News indicate Charles Ellwood was a concern to authorities.

"There are reasonable grounds to believe that, if released, you are likely to commit an offence involving violence," the board wrote about Ellwood in a decision dated May 22, 2009.

Ellwood was asking the board to consider releasing him from prison on day parole. At the time he was serving a federal sentence for drug possession.

Things changed a few months later when the parole board considered a new request from Ellwood for early release.

On June 24, 2009, the board released him with conditions.

He was on full parole when the alleged attack took place.

Ellwood has been in custody since his arrest. A bail hearing is expected on Monday.