TORONTO: Lascelles Allen charged with first-degree murder in death of former girlfriend, Suraiya Gangaram

Man accused of fatal stabbing still in hospital

CBC News Posted: May 10, 2015 12:07 PM ET Last Updated: May 10, 2015 5:27 PM ET

Toronto police say a man who threw himself in front of a train and survived is now charged with first-degree murder in the stabbing death of his former girlfriend.

Det.-Sgt. Steve Ryan told reporters Sunday morning that 51-year-old Lascelles Allen has been charged in the death of Suraiya Gangaram, a mother of three school-age children whose body was found on Friday.

“Suraiya’s young daughter returned home from school and found her mom lying on her kitchen floor. She was obviously dead,” said Ryan.

Lascelles AllenLascelles Allen, 51, has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of his former girlfriend, Suraiya Gangaram. (Trevor Dunn/CBC)

“Approximately one half-hour later, [he] attempted to jump in front of a westbound Via train near Markham Road and Cougar Court. He survived his injuries and is currently in hospital.”

Gangaram had been living in a townhouse on Danzig Street at the time of her death.

“It was despicable and incredibly cowardly in my view,” Ryan said, of the killing.

Ryan said that Allen and Gangaram, 31, were previously in a relationship for about two years.

It ended last year after Allen was charged with domestic assault, Ryan said.

TORONTO: Peer Mohammad Khairi, who almost decapitated wife, loses appeal

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By: Diana Mehta The Canadian Press, Published on Wed Apr 22 2015

Ontario’s highest court upheld the second-degree murder conviction of an Afghan immigrant who nearly decapitated his wife, calling the woman’s death a “horrific” killing in a decision released Wednesday.

Peer Mohammad Khairi, a father of six, had argued that the judge who presided over his trial made several errors, and asked the appeal court for a new trial.

If a fresh trial couldn’t be ordered, Khairi had asked that his period of parole ineligibility — currently set at 15 years after he was sentenced to life in prison — be lowered to 10 or 11 years.

He was turned down by Ontario’s Court of Appeal on both fronts.

“The conviction appeal is dismissed. While we grant leave to appeal the sentence, the sentence appeal is dismissed,” the court’s decision said.

Khairi had admitted to killing his wife in March 2008, it was the circumstances of the death that had been in dispute at his trial, the court noted.

“He contended that he lacked the intent for murder due to mental health issues. Alternatively, he claimed that he stabbed his wife in the heat of passion, caused by her allegedly provocative words and conduct,” the appeal court wrote.

A jury deliberated for three days in 2012 before finding Khairi guilty of second-degree murder.

In his appeal, Khairi argued that the trial judge erred by not declaring a mistrial after what was allegedly an “improper” opening statement from Crown prosecutors, whose effect was allegedly to prevent him from receiving a fair trial. He also claimed the prosecution’s closing address was inflammatory.

The appeal court agreed that the Crown’s opening statement was improper, but found that the trial judge adequately instructed the jury that the Crown’s remarks exceeded the scope of a proper opening statement.


Khairi, who was born in Afghanistan, immigrated to Canada with his wife and children in 2003 after having spent the previous 15 years in India.

The family settled in Toronto but due to the couple’s limited education and inability to speak English, neither of them could find work, court documents have noted.

In 2006, the family had financial troubles and the relationship between Khairi and his wife became strained, the documents said.


Ottawa police seeking help to identify man and woman for questioning on stabbing death of Connor Stevenson

Published on: April 19, 2015
Last Updated: April 19, 2015 9:57 PM EDT

The Ottawa police major crime section is seeking help to identify two individuals who may have important information related to a homicide on Jasmine Crescent.Ottawa police

Police hope someone will come forward to identity two people — a man and a woman — whom investigators believe have “important information” in connection with the recent stabbing death of Connor Stevenson.

Early last week, the 18-year-old, a one-time Gloucester High School student, became the city’s second homicide of year after being stabbed at least three times in the chest while in the sixth floor stairwell of Sutton Place, part of a two-tower highrise complex at 2020 Jasmine Cres., in Ottawa’s east side, where he lived with his mother and stepfather. He was pronounced dead after being rushed to hospital.

The Ottawa police major crime section released photos Sunday of a man and woman, both black, they want to identify, saying the two “may have important information related to a homicide on Jasmine Crescent.”

One photo shows a hooded young woman in a bright pinkish coat talking on a cellphone while riding an elevator in the building. Another shows her in the hallway approaching the elevators still on a cellphone.

The man’s pictures show him wearing a black leather coat over a hoodie, with the hood on his head. Despite the hood, man’s face is revealed both as he enters an elevator and when as he looks up at the floor indicator on the elevator.

“The man and woman shown in these images were at the building at the time of the incident, and investigators believe they have important information to contribute to the investigation,” major crimes Staff Sgt. Robert Drummond said Sunday.

Experts suggest cannibal “Vince” Weiguang Li be granted unescorted outings in the city

Li has been confined to a psychiatric institution north of Winnipeg since he was found not criminally responsible for stabbing, mutilating and beheading McLean on a bus to Winnipeg in July 2008.

Jill Macyshon reveals details about Vince Li’s review for a request to be put into a group home and access to Winnipeg.
Chinta Puxley, The Canadian Press
Published Monday, February 23, 2015 3:00PM EST
Last Updated Monday, February 23, 2015 5:39PM EST

WINNIPEG — Experts are recommending a man who beheaded a fellow passenger aboard a Greyhound bus should be transferred from a mental facility to a Winnipeg hospital with an eye to moving him to a community group home.

It’s also being suggested that Vince Li be granted unescorted outings in the city.

Li’s psychiatrist, Dr. Steven Kremer, told a criminal code board review hearing Monday that Li has shown “profound improvement” and is at low risk to reoffend. Risk assessments done by several other doctors came to the same conclusion, the board heard.

Vince Li may be granted beach visits

Vince Weiguang Li is led into the Manitoba Provicial Court in Portage La Prairie, Man. on Friday Aug. 1, 2008. (Winnipeg Free Press – James Turner)

Li, 46, has not had any hallucinations in over a year and understands the need to take his medication, Kremer said. Should Li be transferred to a group home, staff there would ensure he continued the medication necessary to manage his schizophrenia, the doctor said.

“His likelihood to re-engage in violence is low.”

Li has been confined to a psychiatric institution north of Winnipeg since he was found not criminally responsible for stabbing, mutilating and beheading McLean on a bus to Winnipeg in July 2008. Li sat next to the 22-year-old McLean after the young man smiled at him and asked how he was doing.

Li said he heard the voice of God telling him to kill the young carnival worker or “die immediately.” Li repeatedly stabbed McLean who unsuccessfully fought for his life. As passengers fled the bus, Li continued stabbing and mutilating the body before he was arrested.

The review board has gradually given Li more freedom, including unescorted visits to Selkirk, Man., and escorted visits to Winnipeg and local beaches.

Li entered the hearing Monday unshackled, sitting and listening quietly while his case was discussed.

The board is expected to issue a decision within a week.

Ken Mackenzie, manager of the forensic mental health program at the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, told the hearing Li has experienced some public backlash on unescorted outings, but was “able to manage it quite effectively.”


TORONTO: Musa Yusuf killed by Guled Yusuf, his nephew

Published Thursday, December 11, 2014 10:12AM EST

A 22-year-old has been charged with second degree murder after his uncle was found dead in an apartment building.

At approximately 8:40 p.m. on Tuesday, Toronto police were called to an apartment building at 100 High Park Ave., near Bloor and Keele Streets.

Police found a 52-year-old man suffering serious stab wounds, and were told by witnesses that an assault had taken place on the sixth floor of the building.

The man, identified on Thursday as Musa Yusuf, was rushed to hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.

A suspect was located and arrested a few kilometres from the scene, police said.

In a statement on Thursday, police said that Guled Yusuf, 22, has been charged with second-degree murder. Guled was Musa’s nephew, police said.

Anyone with more information is asked to call police at 416-808-7400, or call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-8477 (TIPS).

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OTTAWA: Eritrean couple Yassin Mender and Alem Haile were known to police

Ottawa woman’s name added to a long list of spousal murder-suicide victims

Published on: Last Updated: 
Pat McGrath / Ottawa Citizen

On the same weekend Canadians marked the 25th anniversary of the Montreal Massacre, in which 14 women were murdered, Ottawans were informed of the identity of yet another woman’s death at the hands of a man.

Alem Haile was found stabbed to death in the basement of her Gloucester home early Thursday morning. Police also found the hanged body of her husband, Yassin Mender, in the house. Investigators described the deaths as murder-suicide — the city’s seventh homicide of the year. The couple, aged 51 and 60, respectively, had three children.