Canada serial killer sentenced to life in jail

Tue Dec 11, 2007 9:27pm EST
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By Allan Dowd

NEW WESTMINSTER, British Columbia (Reuters) - Canadian serial killer Robert "Willie" Pickton was sentenced to life in prison with no hope of parole for 25 years on Tuesday after a gut-wrenching court hearing in which victims's families described their emotional devastation.

"Mr. Pickton there is really nothing that I can say to adequately express the revulsion the community feels about these killings," Justice James Williams said as he handed down the harshest sentence possible for the second degree murder.

Relatives of the victims erupted in cheers in the courtroom. Pickton did not react.

Pickton, 58, was convicted on Sunday for the murders of six women whose bodies were butchered in the slaughterhouse of his pig farm near Vancouver. He is charged with 26 murders and faces another trial on the remaining 20 murder counts.

"Nobody should meet death the way she did," Jay Draayers, a half brother of victim Sereena Abotsway, wrote in a statement read to the court. Abotsway's head, hands and feet were discovered in a bucket on Pickton's farm.

Some of the victims' relatives sobbed openly and even reporters and attorneys fought back tears as the statements were read.

Pickton sat emotionless in the prisoner's box as the family statements were read. He gazed at his hands that were folded on his lap.

Pickton leaned forward as if ready to speak when the judge later asked if he had anything to say, but his lawyer quickly said he would not address the court because he is still facing the 20 additional murder charges.   Continued...

<p>The car carrying convicted murderer Robert Pickton arrives at the court house in New Westminster, British Columbia, December 11, 2007. REUTERS/Andy Clark</p>