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Christopher Gale sentenced to 15 years for Jocelyn Bishop's death

Christopher Gale will be behind bars for a minimum of 15 years for the 2010 murder of his common-law partner Jocelyn Bishop.

Superior Court Justice Andrew Goodman delivered the sentence Thursday in front families of both the killer and the victim.

Goodman outright rejected a jury recommendation of 10 years before Gale can apply for parole. He described the recommendation as “totally unrealistic.”

Gale was convicted of second-degree murder in July. The charge stipulates a prison sentence of 10 to 25 years before the offender can apply for release.

Gale shot Bishop with a homemade handgun and dragged her body into the back yard of their Fanshawe Park Road home. There, he dug a shallow grave and buried Bishop’s body.

He didn’t tell anyone she was dead until her body was discovered. Later, he insisted she committed suicide.

An earlier trial ended in a mistrial.

Goodman said Gale would have treated a departed pet with more dignity than he did the supposed love of his life, adding that Gale “took elaborate steps to cover up the crime.”

He also chided Gale for refusing to take responsibility for the slaying and for never showing any remorse.

Gale displayed no emotion during the proceeding and was led away without saying a word.

Bishop’s father, Don, didn’t agree with a suggestion that the nightmare is finally over.

“Well, we’ll see in 15 years,” he said. “If he’s being good, and he makes parole, then that’s the judge’s decision and that’s something we have to go with.

“I’ll never be satisfied, but if this is what it takes, this is what we get.”

After the killing, Gale told Bishop’s parents the reason they hadn’t heard from her was because she had run away.

Her mother, Ginette, said she was pleased Goodman denounced Gale for that.

“I’m glad the judge said that about him. We love our daughter,” she said. “As soon as (Gale) called us (to say she had run away), we were there.

“He thought we weren’t going to come. He didn’t think that anybody was going to look for her, but we love her.”

Asked where she would go from here, now that the court case is over, Bishop said: “I don’t know what to say about that. I can’t say we’re going to heal because he’s in jail. It’s helpful, but it hurts really bad losing a child like that. It really hurts.”

The Bishops said they plan to become involved in campaigns to raise awareness about domestic abuse.

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