A man who pleaded guilty last month to kidnapping and murdering a Barrie woman in front of her infant granddaughter a decade ago has again been sentenced to life in prison.
It was Clare Spiers’s second sentence for the crime, and he’ll be eligible for parole in 2021, eight years earlier than before.
The Ontario Court of Appeal tossed out his first conviction for first-degree murder, finding his right to a fair trial was jeopardized because the Crown ordered background checks of potential jurors, reports say.
The Crown allowed his plea of second-degree murder, on June 27, to avoid another trial.
On May 21, 2004, Massoumeh Khonsari, 60, was found dead in a wooded area of Oro-Medonte, near Barrie. She’d been strangled and stabbed several times in the neck. Her baby granddaughter, whom she’d been babysitting, had been abandoned in a car in the lot of a high-rise building in Barrie.
“The woman who taught me and my brothers about grace, kindness and generosity, and who deeply loved and showed my father the greatest tenderness and compassion was taken from us in a violent and heinous act,” Khonsari’s son Navid Khonsari said during his victim impact statement.
“We will never recover our sense of comfort and trust in society, as our world was shattered in one dark and unpredictable act.”
Spiers already had a criminal record for 24 violent offences, including rape, car-jacking and robbery, and the Crown argued he couldn’t be rehabilitated.
“[Khonsari] was murdered twice — strangled and then, on the threshold of death, stabbed,” the Crown said.
“[It’s] rage and brutality and overkill of a woman [Spiers] didn’t know, who was babysitting her granddaughter that day … The public needs to be protected from him.”
The Crown wanted no parole for 17 years from the day Spiers began his sentence, and that’s what Judge Ian Nordheimer decided.
Khonsari’s husband, Dr. Homa Khonsari was chief of surgery at the Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre and died of cancer in 2011, according to a report in the Barrie Examiner.