Crown wants wife killer Afghan Peer Khairi to serve at least 17 years
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None of the six children of a woman murdered in Toronto by their Afghan father allegedly over their western social habits have submitted victim impact statements at his sentencing hearing.
But a few of the teenage and adult children of the unhappy immigrant couple have agreed to write letters on behalf of their father, according to one of his defence lawyers.
Peer Khairi, who claims he’s 75, was seen wiping tears from his eyes in Ontario Superior Court Tuesday at his sentencing hearing for stabbing and nearly decapitating his wife of 35 years, Randjida.
On Sunday, after three days of deliberations, a jury found the Afghan immigrant guilty of second-degree murder in the bloody March 18, 2008, stabbing in family’s West Mall highrise apartment.
The Crown argued he slit his 53-year-old wife’s throat and stabbed her five times after she supported their children’s increasingly western clothing and social lives, despite Khairi’s disapproval. The defence asserted it was simply a tragic breakdown of a marriage.
Only one of their children, Giti, 29, took the stand during the trial, but she was excused from testifying further after bursting into tears when asked about her new-found Muslim faith. None of the three other daughters or two sons is believed to have attended the trial.
On Tuesday, prosecutors Robert Kenny and Amanda Camara asked that, on top of the mandatory life sentence for second-degree murder, Khairi not be eligible to apply for parole for 17 years — seven years greater than the minimum.
Kenny argued the breach of trust involved in murdering one’s spouse at home demands a tough sentence.
“There is no evidence of remorse,” Kenny said.
“There was a horrific amount of violence done to Mrs. Khairi’s body,” Kenny added. He said after Peer Khairi slit her throat, she struggled as he held her down on his bed.
“Mrs. Khairi was trying to leave her husband at the time, as she has every right to do,” Kenny said. “This was one of the triggers in this case.”
But one of Khairi’s lawyers, Anthony La Bar, called for a parole ineligibility period of 10 to 11 years.
Khairi did not try to hide his crime, but called police immediately after the murder, La Bar said.
Khairi suffers from depression, and likely from post-traumatic stress syndrome and “settlement stress” from immigrating to Canada, La Bar added.
But Justice Robert Clark expressed doubt about the truth of most of Khairi’s three days of testimony and added that his mental health diagnosis was based almost entirely on his dubious self-reporting.
Clark will sentence Khairi on Dec. 3.