Serial killer Bruce McArthur receives life sentence, no parole eligibility for 25 years

WARNING: This story contains details that some readers may find disturbing.

An Ontario judge has sentenced serial killer Bruce McArthur to serve life in prison and ordered that McArthur not be eligible for parole for 25 years.

Global News

Justice John McMahon announced his decision Friday morning and it came after a sentencing hearing on Monday and Tuesday. The court heard disturbing detailed evidence of the circumstances surrounding the deaths of Selim Esen, Andrew Kinsman, Majeed Kayhan, Dean Lisowick, Soroush Mahmudi, Skandaraj Navaratnam, Abdulbasir Faizi and Kirushnakumar Kanagaratnam.

“The accused lured eight men to their deaths … He killed each of them intentionally,” McMahon told the court on Friday.

“There has been no evidence, as far as I can see, of remorse.

“These brutal killings, I accept, have devastated the LGBTQ community,” the judge said. “I recognize the healing will never completely end the damage Mr. McArthur has caused.”

VIDEO: Nicole Borthwick, a friend of Bruce MacArthur victims Andrew Kinsman, Dean Lisowick and Selim Esen says the sentence isn’t enough and MacArthur deserves the maximum sentence.

McMahon sentenced McArthur to life in prison for each of the counts. However, McMahon said McArthur doesn’t require consecutive periods of parole ineligibility.

“If the accused either had a trial or had been a younger man, I would have had no problem accepting … the argument,” McMahon said.

“I am satisfied in the interest of justice that the accused receive concurrent periods of parole ineligibility.”

He said the period of parole ineligibility will happen concurrently, meaning McArthur can apply for parole when he turns 91.

Nicole Borthwick, a friend of three of McArthur’s victims, Kinsman, Dean Lisowick and Selim Esen, said outside the courthouse on Friday that the sentence wasn’t harsh enough.

“I don’t think it’s enough. The man is 67. People have been known to life past 80, 90 years old. I don’ t think this man is capable to be free,” Borthwich said.

“If you’re going to do a maximum crime, you deserve the maximum sentence, which is life times eight,” Borthwick said.

VIDEO: Serial killer Bruce McArthur receives life sentence, no parole eligibility for 25 years

During his sentencing argument, Assistant Crown Attorney Craig Harper based on the “horrific” nature of the offences, Harper said McArthur shouldn’t be eligible for a period of 50 years — up from the standard 25 years. Under Canadian law, he noted, the parole eligibility in first-degree murder cases is in 25-year increments.

Last week, McArthur, a 67-year-old, self-employed gardener, pleaded guilty to eight counts of first-degree murder. Most of the killings, which happened between 2010 and 2017, were described as being “sexual in nature,” and there were many instances cited where there was evidence of ligatures being used.

In pictures stored on McArthur’s computer devices, some of the victims could be seen staged and wearing a fur coat, a fur hat and/or a cigar in their mouths.

“He wanted to relive each murder. It spoke to his desire,” Harper noted.

“It is the broad swath of pain Mr. McArthur has inflicted that’s particularly aggravating.”

In McArthur’s bedroom, officers found a bag with duct tape, a surgical glove, rope, zip ties, a bungee cord and syringes, as well as DNA belonging to multiple victims inside McArthur’s van and on the fur coat. McArthur kept items belonging to some of his victims, such as jewelry belonging to Lisowick and Navaratnam.

During the proceedings on Tuesday, McMahon gave McArthur the opportunity to address the court if he wanted to.

“No, your honour, I’ve discussed this with my counsel,” he quietly responded.

James Miglin, McArthur’s lawyer, acknowledged to the court during his submission that the crimes are “horrific” and said McArthur will serve a life sentence. He said the issue is whether or not parole eligibility should be extended to 50 years from the current 25.

Miglin cited McArthur’s current age and the fact he would be 91 before he could apply for parole. He also asked McMahon to take into consideration that McArthur waived his right to a preliminary inquiry and pleaded guilty to all of the charges.

More to come…

Read Justice John McMahon’s sentencing decision below:

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