SURREY, B.C.: Yosef Jomo Gopaul pleads guilty to manslaughter and robbery in death of Julie Paskall

Ms. Paskall, 53, had been waiting to pick up her son from the Newton Arena following a hockey game on Dec. 29, 2013, when she was attacked. She died two days later in hospital.

Man pleads guilty in death of B.C. hockey mom, sentenced to 12 years

Yosef Jomo Gopaul at the court. (SKETCH BY FELICITY DON)

ANDREA WOO

SURREY, B.C. — The Globe and Mail

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A man charged in the fatal beating of hockey mom Julie Paskall, whose death in Surrey, B.C., crystallized fears about the area being unsafe, pleaded guilty Friday and was sentenced to 12 years in prison.

With credit for time already served, Yosef Jomo Gopaul has 10½ years remaining in his sentence.

Mr. Gopaul, 28, was initially charged with second-degree murder but he pleaded guilty to one count of manslaughter and one count of robbery. The 12-year sentence was the result of a joint recommendation from the Crown and the defence.

Ms. Paskall, 53, had been waiting to pick up her son from the Newton Arena following a hockey game on Dec. 29, 2013, when she was attacked. She died two days later in hospital.

In an emotional victim impact statement, Ms. Paskall’s husband, Al, said the two had met as teens and been best friends for nearly four decades.

“Every day with her was an adventure, and now my adventure is over,” he said through tears.

“Nothing matters any more.”

Ms. Paskall’s daughter Rhiannon told the court that she has cerebral palsy and that her mother had always been her biggest cheerleader.

“My mom was truly my best friend in the entire world,” she said, sobbing.

On Friday, the court heard that Mr. Gopaul had confessed to an undercover officer posing as a crime boss that he struck Ms. Paskall in the head with a rock. He claimed his intention was not to kill her, but to rob her.

He also confessed to a robbery that occured almost two weeks before the attack on Ms. Paskall. On Dec. 16, Mr. Gopaul struck a young Asian woman with a rock, beat her and then took her mobile phone and other belongings, the court heard.

VANCOUVER: Li Zhao charged in killing and dismembering Gang Yuan

Gang Yuan, dismembered millionaire, allegedly killed for his money

B.C. Supreme Court petition claims victim financially supported accused killer’s family

By Jason Proctor, CBC News Posted: May 20, 2015 5:55 PM PT Last Updated: May 21, 2015 8:44 AM PT

Dismembered millionaire allegedly killed for his money 2:29

A court battle has erupted over the estate of wealthy businessman Gang Yuan, whose dismembered body was found last month at an exclusive West Vancouver address.

Yuan’s brother, Qiang Yuan, has obtained a B.C. Supreme Court order giving him the go-ahead on behalf of Yuan’s estate to sue Li Zhao, the man charged with second-degree murder in Yuan’s death.

In an unusual press conference, the family’s lawyer claimed Yuan was supporting Zhao and his wife, who was allegedly seen driving the victim’s Bentley within days of his death.

“So the question arises, why would someone kill his benefactor?” said Chris Johnson, who represents the victim’s brother and speculated about the motivation for the murder.

“With the known facts, there is really only one conclusion: Mr. Zhao did this for financial reasons. He thought that he could get a free house. Not just any house, but a very valuable house in West Vancouver.”

Mohammad Shafia and his gang terrorize inmates to attend Friday prayers

Senate committee hears about Shafia, serving life sentence for 2009 murders of 1st wife, 3 daughters

CBC News Posted: May 05, 2015 11:22 AM ET Last Updated: May 05, 2015 12:42 PM ET

Mohammad Shafia, his wife, Tooba Yahya and their son, Hamed, were convicted in 2012 of the murders of the couple's three daughters and Shafia's first wife. A national security committee was told Tuesday that Mohammad Shafia intimidated inmates into attending prayers.Mohammad Shafia, his wife, Tooba Yahya and their son, Hamed, were convicted in 2012 of the murders of the couple’s three daughters and Shafia’s first wife. A national security committee was told Tuesday that Mohammad Shafia intimidated inmates into attending prayers.
The Montreal man serving a life sentence for killing his wife and three teenage daughters intimidated other prisoners to the point that one asked to be put in isolation, a Senate committee has heard. Psychologist Robert Groves, who worked in Kingston Penitentiary, testified Monday before the national security and defence committee hearing on security threats facing Canada. He said he met with one particular non-Muslim inmate who went to great lengths to avoid Shafia.

“It turned out that he felt so intimidated by Shafia and some of his lieutenants, that he chose to give up his relative freedom of movement on the range in the general population for a much more restricted life on a social isolation range,” Groves said. “He could no longer come to see me. I had to go to his cell on the isolation range. He advised me that confinement was worth it to avoid the hassle of dealing with ‘the Muslims’” After his first-degree murder conviction in 2012, Shafia took on a religious leadership role at the Kingston Penitentiary — the onetime maximum-security prison — organizing Friday prayers when the sole Imam permitted to minister to inmates in Canada was not available, according to Groves.

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.

String of Surrey shootings connected to turf war between Somali and South Asian gangs

Young refugees have little support for trauma, says head of Umoja Operation Compassion Society of BC

By The Early Edition, CBC News Posted: Apr 30, 2015 12:55 PM PT Last Updated: Apr 30, 2015 12:55 PM PT

The Umoja Operation Compassion Society of BC helps young African refugees to adjust to life in Canada - and its executive director says more needs to be done to prevent young people getting involved with gangs.The Umoja Operation Compassion Society of BC helps young African refugees to adjust to life in Canada – and its executive director says more needs to be done to prevent young people getting involved with gangs. (umojaoperation.ca/)

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Keeping Somali youth out of gangs 6:49

The head of a Surrey, B.C.-based organization that works with Somali immigrants and refugees wants better gang prevention programs for youth, as the community grapples with 23 shootings in two months.

RCMP have said the shootings are connected to a turf war between rival Somali and South Asian gangs.

“It’s a big problem generally in the youth. If there are no youth programs the Somalis won’t be there,” Amos Kambere, Executive Director of theUmoja Operation Compassion Society of BC, told The Early Edition’sRick Cluff.

Huge culture shock

Kambere said many of the Somalis who come to Canada have suffered violence in refugee camps and experience a huge culture shock when they arrive.

“These people are coming with issues of trauma, issues of mental health and when they come here they are overwhelmed.”

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.

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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.

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