Great Moments in Canadian Sentencing, Part II

Via the Broom.

Thirty-year-old George Arsoniadis, a banker, accidentally killed his sister Helen on July 3rd, 2005.  According to Arsoniadis, she was visiting his condo, they had an argument, and she came at him with a marble ornament.  He defended himself by putting her in a choke hold, and killed her.  What’s a man to do when he accidentally kills a sibling?  Call EMS, the police, and tearfully confess?

How about purchase a hacksaw and start disposing of the evidence?

Instead of calling for help when she stopped breathing, he went out and bought a hacksaw and started dismembering the body.

When police searched his apartment on July 12, they found a number of body parts in the freezer, including her skull, which had been boiled in a large pot on the kitchen stove.

By this time, he had disposed of about three quarters of her body. He dumped some of her remains through the garbage chute in his building and took some of her body parts in a duffel bag on the Go Train to a park in Mississauga.

Because most of her body was missing and the remaining body parts in the freezer were badly mutilated, a forensic pathologist testified it was impossible to say how she died. Nor was there any way to confirm or dispute Arsoniadis’s testimony that he accidentally strangled her.

— Paul Legall, “Guilty of manslaughter“. Hamilton Spectator, June 15, 2007.

Let’s not even get into the mental gymnastics required to keep the rest of the Arsoniadis family in the dark about sister Helen’s mysterious, unplanned disappearance.

Crown prosecutor Andrew Goodman sought a prison term of fifteen to eighteen years.  And what sentence actually got handed down?  Six and a half years, discounting four and a half years (presumably on a two-for-one basis) for time already served.  Net result: two more years in the penn for Mr. Arsoniadis, for a grand total of four.

Goodman told the court that the public demanded a stiff sentence to show you can’t get leniency for cutting up a body to destroy evidence to keep police from doing their job.

— Bob Mitchell, “Killer to serve 2 more years“.  Toronto Star, October 11th, 2007.

Sure, destroying evidence seems like something the police and courts might, in a rational world, have an interest in preventing.  Not to mention deterring the foolish, craven notion that covering up your crime is a better alternative than facing the music like a man.

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