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In quotes: Reaction to Bruce McArthur's sentencing

Last Updated Feb 8, 2019 at 6:17 pm EDT

Bruce McArthur watches security footage of his van during his sentencing hearing on Feb. 4, 2019. SKETCH/Alex Tavshunsky

Serial killer Bruce McArthur was sentenced Friday to life in prison without the chance of parole for 25 years despite the Crown seeking no chance of parole for 50 years.

Here’s some reaction to his sentence.

Nicole Borthwick, friend of three of McArthur’s victims:

“I’m not happy with it, not happy at all with it. Losing three friends and killing eight victims and having a life sentence — it’s still not enough for the community. The community has gone through so much pain … There is no closure, there is no grace, this community is broken and it’s going to be broken for a long, long time.”

Toronto police Chief Mark Saunders:

“If it was one of my loved ones, there wouldn’t be any sentence that would make me happy … Let’s be honest here. I do not see Bruce McArthur seeing daylight. I do not see him in a public setting again. If he were to be paroled, we would have to start questioning our sentencing in the country. I’ll take it for face value that in this case that life will mean life at the end of the day. He’s eligible for parole in 25 years. That doesn’t mean he’s going to be free.”

On repairing relations with the LGBTQ+ community:

“Our work is not done. We will continue to support the opportunity to explore our investigative efforts in a transparent and accountable way …We will do everything that we can to continue to strengthen our relationships with communities and figure out what we need to do to learn and grow.”

Lead detective Insp. Hank Idsinga:

“It’s still a life sentence. The only difference is the parole eligibility and, as Justice (John) McMahon, said he can’t imagine a parole board ever letting Mr. McArthur out even if by some fluke he lives to the age of 91. We don’t expect to see Mr. McArthur in public again. We are satisfied with the sentence.”

On whether McArthur may be responsible for more deaths:

“There are quite a few cold cases. We are still not quite done reviewing those, but we are getting close to the end. So far, we have no evidence to link Mr. McArthur to any of those cases.”

Homicide Det. David Dickinson:

“This is a quick conclusion. We are in the courts for years sometimes with a basic murder case. So to have one where someone is charged with eight murders conclude within 13 months of the arrest, it’s fulfilling.”

Toronto Mayor John Tory:

“It is my hope that he will never again know freedom and that this sentence begins the difficult journey of delivering justice to the victims of these crimes, their friends and families, our LGBTQ community and our entire city.

“We should all remember the victims today: Majeed Kayhan, Dean Lisowick, Soroush Mahmudi, Skandaraj Navaratnam, Abdulbasir Faizi, Kirushna Kumar Kanagaratnam, Andrew Kinsman and Selim Esen.

“These men must never be forgotten.”