Life for Toronto gay village serial killer found guilty of eight murders

Serial killer Bruce McArthur sentenced to life in prison

Reporters Adrian Ghobrial and Momin Qureshi are covering the sentencing.

Families and friends of McArthur's victims are expected to speak out about the sentencing later today.

When police stormed the killer's apartment in January 2018, they found a young man bound to a bed but unharmed who may well have become the ninth victim, the judge said. "Unfortunately, they will live with this nightmare for the rest of their lives".

Because numerous facts presented at the hearing were so lurid, prosecutors cautioned people against remaining in court to hear them.

However, when it came to deciding if he was going to deliver a consecutive sentence - where McArhur would be eligible for parole in 50 years - or concurrent, McMahon said the sentenced needed to be realistic, not symbolic. The killer will be eligible for parole at the age of 91.

The offence of first-degree murder carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison without the chance of parole for 25 years, but a law enacted in 2011 now allows judges to use their discretion to sentence multiple murderers to additional periods of parole ineligibility.

"There is a fine line between retribution, which is an appropriate sentencing principle, and vengeance", McMahon said.

Giving judges the option of telling particular offenders they can't apply for parole for 40 years would reduce the chances of that happening.

Justice McMahon called the crimes "pure evil" and especially condemned McArthur's exploitation of his victims' vulnerabilities.

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Bernard Weil/Getty ImagesThe Metropolitan Community Church held a candlelight prayer vigil for the victims of serial killer Bruce McArthur Feb. 4, 2018. And there is no such sentence in Canada as life without parole. "In this case life will mean life at the end". In 25 years, the convicted killer will be 92 years old.

After the man reported the attack, McArthur was arrested and gave an exculpatory statement to police, it said.

McArthur lured men in Toronto's Gay Village, and later staged photos with some of the corpses, where he would dress them up in fur coats and put cigars in their mouths.

He said the men suffered a "slow and painful death" for the "sexual gratification" of McArthur. Evidence revealed in a hearing showed McArthur kept items from his victims and had photographs of them on his computer.

Police had faced criticism over their handling of the case, with an independent review being conducted into how missing persons cases are handled, after McArthur was able to conduct a seven year killing spree.

"First, their loved ones went missing... in numerous victim impact statements friends and families recount searching for months on end fruitlessly, holding on to hope their loved one was alive and well", he said.

The Kanagaratnams were among the dozens of friends and family who sat silently in court Friday as McMahon read from his sentencing report. "Although there can be no closure from a crime of this magnitude, we hope that these eight convictions for first-degree murder will assist our community in beginning a new chapter of healing".

He referenced the victim impact statement of Rev. Deana Dudley, of the Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto, who had written that it's impossible to overstate the impact of the murders on the LGBT community.

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