Megan Gillis, QMI Agency
First posted: Tuesday, March 27, 2012 07:36 PM EDT | Updated: Tuesday, March 27, 2012 07:42 PM EDT
Mohamed Jama Yusuf. (Handout)
OTTAWA – Actions speak louder than an 11th-hour apology, a prosecutor argued Tuesday as she sought 12 years for the “brutal, senseless and completely unprovoked” attack that left 51-year-old Sean Murphy dead.
Mohamed Jama Yusuf, 23, pleaded guilty to manslaughter, admitting he punched Murphy, a complete stranger, as he rode his bike towards Yusuf outside a Mac’s Milk store just after midnight on Aug. 26, 2008.
He then stomped and kicked the older, slighter man on the ground.
“Mr. Murphy was minding his own business and had no inkling his life was about to be snuffed out by a perfect stranger for no reason,” prosecutor Lisa Miles said.
Yusuf then coolly returned with his friends to the Raven’s Nest bar — where both men had been drinking — leaving Murphy convulsing from critical head injuries, Miles said.
“He did not lift one finger to help the victim,” she said. “He did not demonstrate one iota of remorse.”
While Murphy’s family sat at his bedside until he died 21 days later without waking up, Yusuf returned to Edmonton where he bragged about stomping an old man in Ottawa, Miles said.
He was arrested in January 2009 after a witness to the beating fingered him to an undercover cop. Yusuf got bail, breached it repeatedly then went on the lam instead of attending court in October 2011.
He was arrested in January but gave false names and had to be identified with fingerprints.
Defence lawyer James Foord asked for five years, arguing the Somali refugee comes from a good family, has four siblings in university or on their way and is a young first-time offender who’s never been violent before or since.
Yusuf turned to apologize to the family, saying he didn’t expect the “tragic” consequences of the “selfish act” for which he, alone, is to blame. He also said he wants to change.
But brother Michael Murphy hopes Yusuf is a young man who made a mistake but can make something of his life.
“I lost a brother,” he said. “No verdict or sentencing could bring him back. But there is hope that Yusuf can yet be redeemed and spare his family the loss of their son.”
Yusuf will be sentenced May 15.