Laura Szendrei was killed in Mackie Park in North Delta in September 2010.

Laura Szendrei killer sentenced as an adult to life in prison

No parole for seven years for young man who murdered 15-year-old in North Delta in 2010.

A courtroom in Surrey Provincial Court erupted in cheers Thursday as the killer of 15-year-old Laura Szendrei was sentenced to life in prison, serving his time as a adult.

On Friday in Surrey Provincial Court, Justice Robin Baird ruled the young man – who was just a week shy of his 18th birthday and therefore a young offender when he killed Szendrei in 2010 – will be jailed in a federal adult penitentiary, with no possibility of parole for seven years from the time he was charged in 2011.

“He was on the very threshold of adulthood,” Baird said in his decision Friday.

Baird said he was taking into account the “devastation the accused has wreaked upon the Laura Szendrei family,” but also the effect the murder has had on the public in general.

“In particular, the peaceful and law-abiding community of Delta where this appalling crime took place,” Baird said. “This offence has upset this community’s sense of well-being and serenity.”

Baird decided that time in provincial jails would be inadequate for the accused.

“The public has every right to the security and long-term protection from this offender,” Baird said. “In short, Crown has satisfied me that a youth sentence would not be sufficient.”

As such, the young man will serve seven years in a federal penitentiary that will be chosen by Corrections Canada.

The 21-year-old offender – who could normally be named now that he’s been sentenced as an adult – still has his identity protected until the judge rules on an application from his defence lawyer to shield his name in perpetuity.

Szendrei’s mother Rachel said it’s one of her greatest wishes that the accused be named.

“I now want to see his name out there,” she said.

The man pleaded guilty to second-degree murder last October.

Szendrei, a student at North Delta’s Burnsview Secondary, died from injuries sustained after a brazen daytime attack on a pathway in Mackie Park near 110 Street and 82 Avenue on Sept. 25, 2010.

The young man was arrested and charged in February 2011.

During his sentencing hearing this summer, Crown prosecutor Wendy Stephen said on the morning of the attack, the young man awoke  with an urge to have sex.

The court heard the killer did some work with his dad and decided he was going to act on his urge. He packed a pipe and zap straps and went to Mackie Park in North Delta, where he saw Szendrei, whom he didn’t know.

Upon seeing her, he told her the chain came off his bike and he asked her for help.

When she went to him, he grabbed her, and when she struggled, he tried to loop a zap strap around her neck, hoping to render her unconscious so he could have sex with her.

She escaped, and started to run, and that’s when he struck her in the head with a pipe. When she continued to run he struck her again, causing her to fall.

As she cried on the ground, he came and struck her a third time, rendering her silent.

She died in hospital later that evening.

The court heard it was the killer’s fourth sex-motivated attack in six months – the three others taking place near Burns Bog.

In the first, he grabbed a woman’s buttocks, in the second he pulled down a runner’s pants, and in the third, he hit a woman in the head with a stick.

Rachel Szendrei called the life sentence to be served as an adult a “no-brainer,” adding it’s the only punishment that comes close to fitting his crime.

Asked if the healing for the family can now begin, Rachel said full healing will never come..

Laura’s father Mike said he’s glad he no longer has to come down to provincial court and explain to the press how he’s doing.

Szendrei’s grandmother Betty Rotaro said the murder has been a harrowing experience for the family.

“We can’t even say (Laura’s) name any more,” Rotaro said, adding the pain is too deep.

As to the sentence given her killer, Rotaro said, “He got what he deserved.”

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

McCallum declares Feb. 1, 2020 RCMP ‘Appreciation Day’ in Surrey

This year is the centennial anniversary of the national police force

Uber threatens legal action to ‘defend its right’ to operate in Surrey

‘I have no concerns,’ Mayor Doug McCallum replies

White Rock Whalers earn PJHL playoff spot

Second-year junior ‘B’ hockey team qualifies for postseason after victory over Port Moody

Cloverdale stamp club looking for new members

Surrey-based group meets every second and fourth Monday of the month

Locke calls for brake on Surrey policing plan, says First Nations not consulted

Surrey City Councillor Brenda Locke wants immediate suspension of city’s policing transition process

VIDEO: Chilliwack man lights up rural property like a runway after repeated arsons

Chris Thompson had enough after twice having barns torched in suspicious circumstances

‘Critically low’ caribou population prompts wolf cull in the Chilcotin

Itcha-Ilgachuz herd numbers down to 385, from 2,800 in 2003

Off-duty B.C. Mountie takes down would-be ice cream thief

Suspect attempted to steal Dilly Bars from Dairy Queen location on Sunday

RCMP to review fatal B.C. train derailment investigation after evidence points to ‘cover up’

The derailment, which occurred on Feb. 4, 2019, killed three men from Calgary

Nanaimo man hit with pole in dispute over off-leash dog

RCMP say no charges recommended at this time

Family hopes Britain can get pregnant B.C. woman out of China’s coronavirus epicentre

Lauren Williams, who is about 35 weeks pregnant, has been stuck in Wuhan

Caregiver, society charged in death of developmentally disabled B.C. woman

The victim was not given the ‘necessities of life,’ police said

B.C. teacher suspended for putting kid in headlock, lies about it to get next job

He has now been fired from Delta and his license temporarily suspended

Most Read