Judge jails ‘bully’ who stomped man, 51, to death to 7½ -year prison term
By Andrew Seymour, The Ottawa Citizen May 15, 2012
Mohamed Jama Yusuf, 23, stomped 51 year-old Sean Gregory Murphy to death.
OTTAWA — A “bully,” who preyed on a vulnerable cyclist by punching him in the head for no reason and then finished his victim off by stomping and kicking him as he lay unconscious, was sentenced to 7½ years in prison Tuesday.
Ontario Superior Court Justice Lynn Ratushny said she questioned the sincerity of Mohamed Jama Yusuf’s last-minute apology before sentencing him for “violently and callously” delivering the deadly punch that would take the life of 51-year-old Sean Murphy.She was equally unimpressed with Yusuf’s decision to nonchalantly walk away and high-five a friend at the bar where he had been drinking after kicking and stomping the smaller and intoxicated Murphy as he lay prone on the ground, unable to repel the attack. Yusuf later flew back to Edmonton where he bragged about “stomping an old man in Ottawa,” she said.
“Sean Murphy was a man at the wrong place at the wrong time and he lost his life for no reason,” said Ratushny.
“It was violence that was unprovoked, reckless, brutal and senseless.”
Yusuf pleaded guilty to manslaughter in March, admitting to attacking Murphy just after midnight on Aug. 26, 2008, in the parking lot of a convenience store near the corner of Shillington Avenue and Merivale Road.
Murphy died three weeks later in hospital as a result of pneumonia brought on by the brain injury caused by Yusuf’s punch and the fall from his bicycle.
Ratushny said she found it “particularly repugnant” that one of Yusuf’s friends, Abdulhakim Mohammed, rolled an unconscious and convulsing Murphy over to pick through his pockets after Yusuf knocked him out.
Yusuf, who didn’t bother to go to work or school while out on bail, later skipped out on an October court date at which he was supposed to plead guilty to killing Murphy. Yusuf instead lied to police about who he was after they arrested him drunk at a house party.
Murphy’s father didn’t accept Yusuf’s apology.
“I didn’t feel it was anything other than filling a requirement to save his ass,” said Ross Murphy, whose family has experienced more than its share of violence.
One of Sean Murphy’s brothers is in a vegetative state after being attacked with a pipe about 15 years ago, Ross Murphy said. No one was ever arrested in that attack.
Murphy said he was particularly disgusted with the “cone of silence” among Yusuf’s friends, who did nothing to help his dying and beloved son.
With credit for time already served, Yusuf has a little less than 6½ years of his sentence remaining.
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