Toronto van attacker sentenced to life in prison

Alec Minassian, 29, was convicted last year of 10 murders and 16 attempted murders. One of 16 later died in connection with injuries sustained in the attack and a judge on Monday said she considers the woman a victim of the 11th murder.

Minasian’s sentencing has been postponed pending a Supreme Court case on another issue to determine the constitutionality of successive parole ineligibility periods.

Minassian is serving multiple life sentences concurrently, and will be eligible for parole within 25 years but may not get it.

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Judge Ann Molloy said she has been sending statements from victims of their ordeal and transcripts from sentencing to correctional officials so they can be considered when Minassian requests parole.

Minassian told police he was motivated by a desire to punish society for his perceived status as a “bachelor” – short for “involuntary celibate” – because he believed women would not have sex with him. He pleaded not criminally responsible.

Monday’s sentencing session featured moving testimony from survivors and family members of those killed in the attack.

Survivors and civilians who provided first aid at the scene spoke of the constant feeling of guilt they felt for not being killed that day and for not saving more people. Survivors reported lasting physical and psychological damage.

Several relatives described their pain in losing siblings, parents, and spouses.

Her daughter, Janice Kirby, said Geraldine Brady left her half-cup of tea sitting at the table at home.

She said she remembered how quiet the street felt when she saw the aftermath of the attack and the cannabis-covered body that she later knew belonged to her mother.

Amarsh Tesfamariam’s niece spoke of her aunt’s medical ordeal: a long-term care nurse and refugee from Eritrea was left a quadriplegic with serious health problems that kept her in hospital for three and a half years before she became the eleventh person to die from an attack.

“She was always asking about the other victims and asking about their families,” Tsfamariam said. “She always hoped she would get better.”

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