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Last Updated: Wednesday, 12 December 2007, 05:27 GMT
Canada pig farm killer sentenced
Artist's impression of Robert Pickton listens to closing arguments on 19 November
Pickton's trial began in January
Pig farmer Robert Pickton, feared to be one of Canada's most prolific killers, has been sentenced to life in prison for the murder of six women.

A separate trial for the murder of another 20 women still has to be scheduled. Police believe Pickton, 58, may have killed almost 50 women.

Officers found dismembered remains and personal belongings when they raided his farm near Vancouver five years ago.

The court near Vancouver said he would be eligible for parole after 25 years.

But it is thought unlikely that Pickton will ever be freed from jail.

'Senseless and despicable'

Most of the women Pickton targeted were prostitutes and drug addicts who vanished from Vancouver's Downtown Eastside area over more than a decade.

Brittany Frey, daughter of murder victim Marnie Frey
When you took her from me, it was like ripping out my heart
Brittney Frey
Victim's daughter

Passing sentence, Judge James Williams said: "What happened to them was senseless and despicable."

Pickton butchered the women's remains and fed them to his pigs, police said.

Health officials once issued a tainted meat advisory to neighbours who might have bought pork from his farm over fears the meat might have contained human remains.

There were emotional scenes as the court heard a statement by the daughter of one of Pickton's victims.

Staring directly at Pickton, Lynn Frey read out some words from her 15-year-old granddaughter Brittney.

Investigators found a jawbone fragment from the teenager's mother, Marnie, on Pickton's farm.

The statement said: "Mr Pickton, why did you do that? When you took her from me, it was like ripping out my heart."

Pickton was also convicted of murdering five other women: Sereena Abotsway, Andrea Joesbury, Mona Wilson, Brenda Wolfe and Georgina Papin.


Your comments:

I lived in Vancouver in the late 90s, and remember the rumour going around that were a disproportionate number of aboriginal women working as prostitutes from the lower Hastings area going missing that the police were doing nothing about. This was the proverbial 'word on the street'. Ten years later, the chickens have home to roost, much to the shame of Vancouver society as a whole. Shame on us for such allowing such an atrocity to repeatedly continue for so long. What a waste of life.
Adam Carr, London

Just about everybody in Vancouver has been aware of this trial & tragedy. Sad that the convicted man's name is known far better than the names of the missing woman. Tremendous, though tardy, work by the police. No expense spared & nobody has uttered a complaint about that. Huge strides made in DNA work will benefit police work worldwide. in spite of the terrible details Canada remains a civilized and just society. In the famous words, "Murder will out". NJC
Nicholas Collins, Vancouver Canada

The fact that there is even a faint possibility that this man might see freedom again one day is a tribute to the justice system in Canada and how out of focus it is. We show leniency in all the wrong ways...
Dan Trotta, Toronto, Ontario

The other tragedy is that it took the police so long before any real concerted effort was made to solve these murders. I have the impression that because many victims were prostitutes or addicts that their disappearance was ignored and that any investigations were half hearted at best.
Malcolm Berry, North Saanich ,Canada

This story is beyond difficult to read and digest. It is so sad to know people don't respect human life. I feel so much sadness for the victims and their families.
Emilia, San Francisco, CA former Vancouver resident

I am currently an exchange student in Vancouver from the UK, and it is very shocking to know that something like this can happen in what appears to be a fantastic and extremely vibrant city.
Ken, Vancouver, Canada

Although not affected personally, most people of Vancouver have lived through the horror as the reports came in of body parts being discovered at the Pickton Farm. The arrest of Pickton and the subsequent long trial, which was reported graphically on radio and TV (always with a warning of the graphic nature of the piece) made some people, including myself a little weary of the whole affair - until it came time for the jury to come in with a verdict. Most were surprised that Pickton was not found guilty of first degree murder... However the sentencing today will give some solace to the families of these unfortunate women. It remain to be seen whether there will be a further trial with regards Pickton's guilt in the murder of the remaining 20 women. Incidentally it has been reported that many more women other than the 26 are also missing from the same area of Vancouver.
Peter Messent, Vancouver, Canada


SEE ALSO
Families pained by Canada verdict
10 Dec 07 |  Americas
Canada farmer is guilty of murder
09 Dec 07 |  Americas
Vancouver's vanished women
09 Dec 07 |  Americas
Canadian pig farmer denies murder
09 Dec 06 |  Americas

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