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

  • Share on Facebook
  • Reddit this!
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: 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.

BROSSARD, QC.: Nikolas Stefanatos pleads guilty in acid attack case

Brossard man pleaded guilty in Longueuil court Thursday morning

CBC News Posted: Nov 13, 2014 12:19 PM ET Last Updated: Nov 13, 2014 7:49 PM ET

Nikolas Stefanatos, the Brossard man who sprayed acid on his ex-girlfriend, Tanya St-Arnauld, has pleaded guilty to aggravated assault.

The plea at the Longueuil courthouse came today — three weeks before Stefanatos’ trial was set to start.

The attack, which happened in August 2012, caused second and third degree burns to St-Arnauld’s face, back, neck and arms.

Stefanatos sprayed St-Arnauld with a household cleaning product containing acid, apparently in a bout of jealous anger.

Stefanatos addressed the court to say he was sorry for what he did.  He apologized to St-Arnauld in front of the judge, adding that he would hug her if he were allowed to.

St-Arnauld reminded the judge of the devastating effect her ex-boyfriend’s actions have had on her life, including suffering from second and third degree burns, being in a medically induced coma and undergoing skin grafts. She said that she now has the skin of a 70-year-old.

Stefanatos is due back in court on Dec. 3 for his sentencing hearing.

Crown prosecutor Erin Kavanagh told CBC that he has already reached an agreement with the defence on a suggested sentence, calling it “significant.”

Stefanatos has been held since the night of his arrest two and a half years ago, and that time served prior to his conviction will count as time-and-a-half once he’s sentenced.

Lawyers slam Chris Alexander for commenting on Nasira Fazli murder case still before courts

‘There used to be a presumption of innocence in this country but I don’t know what happened to it’

By Colin Perkel, The Canadian Press Posted: Nov 06, 2014 5:22 PM ET Last Updated: Nov 06, 2014 5:22 PM ET

Criminal defence lawyers are dismayed that Immigration Minister Chris Alexander publicly branded a man charged with killing his wife a murderer before his trial.

Alexander brought up the case of Nasira Fazli this week as he talked publicly about the need for legislation to crack down on so-called “honour” killings and polygamy among immigrants.

“Not much more than one year ago, she was killed — 48 stab wounds — by her husband, Feraidon Mohammad Ibrahem, who had been in this country only for a few months, sponsored by her,” Alexander told a news conference at a women’s centre in west-end Toronto.

“While what he did is clearly a crime, among the gravest crimes that can be committed and that he is facing the full consequences of the law for murder, this was also a barbaric cultural practice in that he felt that he had been dishonoured by her ability to be independent.”

Alexander went on to say that “that kind of behaviour by any immigrant, by any Canadian, is unacceptable.”

Fazli, 31, of Ajax, Ont., was found stabbed to death in July 2013.

Ibrahem’s preliminary inquiry wrapped up last month and he has yet to stand trial for first-degree murder.

TORONTO: Entire Cuban family gets sponsored, CIC expected to take measures

Wife fights to keep sponsored hubby’s family out of Canada

michele-mandel

BY  ,TORONTO SUN

FIRST POSTED: 

TORONTO — Deborah Parsons thought she had secured love and a happy future when she sponsored her new Cuban husband to Canada nine years ago.

Instead, she brought home violence, debt and a now-convicted domestic abuser intent on bringing the rest of his family to his new country. And despite her repeated warnings to the immigration department about her husband’s past since coming to Canada, they won’t tell her what they are doing to ensure members of his family are not allowed to come here as well.

“Now that the veil of control and abuse has lifted, my hindsight has become quite clear,” Parsons, 45, wrote in a letter to Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander. “I was only used for sponsorship, then required to be the bread winner, a maid, a chef, a laundress, a secretary, an employment agency and a charity organization.”