Counsel for Vincent Li objected to the acceptance of certain portions of statements that were filed with the Review Board by victims and those who classified themselves as victims.
Vince Weiguang Li was required to appear before the Review Board on Monday, June 1, 2009 for a Disposition hearing. The board was to consider the need to protect the public from dangerous persons, the present mental condition of Mr. Li and his reintegration into society and his other needs.
Vincent Li attorney argued that in some cases the victims included statements that went beyond the impacts that the offence had upon them. While there is no question that all of the individuals who submitted victim impact statements suffered great personal loss as a result of the commission of the offence, counsel for Mr. Li raised the issue of whether the authors of certain of the statements met the definition of “victim” as contemplated by section 722(4) of the Criminal Code, and also the issue of whether portions of certain of the statements went beyond what may be submitted to the Board under section 672.5(14), as each of those provisions have been interpreted by the Courts.
Counsel for Vincent Lee cited R. v. Gabriel, 1999 CanLII 15050 (Ont. C.A.),
R. v. Daley, 2002 CanLII 393 (N.B. Q.B.), R. v. Jackson, 2002 CanLII 41524 (Ont. C.A.) R. v. McDonough, 2006 CanLII 18369 (Ont. S.C.), R. v. Duffus, 2000 CanLII 22831 (Ont. S.C.) and R. v. Bremer, 2000 CanLII 345 (B.C.C.A.), for its legal arguments
Counsel for the Attorney General, Ms Deegan, argued that all of the victim impact statements ought to be accepted in their entirety. The statements had been prepared by their authors in accordance with the written guidelines provided to them by the provincial Victim Services Branch.
The board did not accept that position as the guidelines do not have the force of law. Following deliberations the Board permitted the victims who wished to read in their statements to do so, but with the offending portions of those statements struck out. The remaining victim impact statements were taken as filed, subject to the objections referred to above.
It is unfortunate that individuals who see themselves and are seen by many as victims, and who have taken the time to write their earnest and heartfelt statements with the intention of reading those statements at the hearing, can find themselves in the position of having the admissibility and appropriateness of their statements challenged at the hearing, sometimes without advance warning. This can only exacerbate feelings of victimization.
Katie’ s Victim Impact Statement…in its entirety.
Thank you for allowing me to have this time to speak my mind about the last 8 months of my life, but how do I even begin to describe to how this crime has affect me?
I am Katie, Timothy’s baby sister. I suppose that is where I will start. Tim and I were very close growing up together, as we were only a couple of years apart in age. We come from (2) happy homes as my parents have divorced and remarried. I have many siblings but no matter which home I was staying at for a visit so was my brother Tim.
I can remember growing up playing games together, getting in trouble together, fighting together, and loving together. Tim wasn’t always the best big brother as I’m sure most brothers are not at some times, but he was always there for me when I needed him and he was always looking out for me and the friends I would associate with, and for a long time I never appreciated that because I always thought he would always be here for me, and now I no longer have a big brother.
I still remember receiving that devastating phone call that July evening. I will never be able to get my parents screams out of my mind. I will never forget dropping to the floor and having to have my friends and my common-law husband Brad pick me up while I tried to catch my breath.
Brad & I were suppose to be starting our vacation together on the Friday after Tim was murdered but instead we ended up packing as fast as we could, so we could come be with our family. Brad started driving from our home in Edmonton while I tried to come to terms with the reality of what happened which to be honest I don’t think I will ever be able to come to terms with any of this. We drove for 13 hours throughout the night after working all day, until we pulled into the driveway of my childhood home, only for me to look at Brad & say “ I can’t get out. I can’t go see my parents” Then to find out that the media was parked out front of my families house in the city and that I would not be able to go and see them until the next day, which broke my heart in so many pieces that I would not be able to be there for them, and they were not able to be there for me when I needed them.
Tim called me the night he was getting onto the bus, as he needed directions to the Greyhound bus depot. Because of the horrific mutilation that Mr. Li exercised on my brother I will forever live with the regret, gilt and question of why? Why did I give Tim directions???
After hearing the soul killing details and descriptions of what happened to Timothy that night I was unable to eat for I believe (5) days. Because I didn’t eat anything for that length of time I was severely sick and had such bad stomach pains I couldn’t even stand up straight. I needed someone to cut up any food I attempted to eat afterwards because when I tried to use my knife with my supper my hand would not stop shaking long enough for me to cut up my own food, and I still have a hard time eating any meat.
I am still not able to sleep throughout the night without being awakened by the haunting images that will forever be burned into my spirit. I have had to reduce my workweek as it got to the point where I was late every other day and my co-workers had to pick up my slack. I was so tired and still unable to sleep or to stop my mind from replaying the images of seeing my brother suffer or calling out for help. Worse……… I am not able to stop seeing specific details of Mr. Li defiling my brother’s body.
It has been extremely difficult to try to move forward with my life. I have had to fly or drive back to Winnipeg on several occasions to be with my family, over the holidays or for any court appearances, and counseling.
I find it difficult to enjoy life’s simple pleasures or certain aspects of my future. I will not have my big brother at my wedding & my children will not have their uncle Tim around to spoil them. What I will have is a memory of the day after what is suppose to be a fun, exciting, milestone birthday of turning 21years old a nightmare and sorrow filled day of burying my big brother.
I thought that would be one of the worst days of my life but then shortly after my birthday is Timothy’s birthday, and then Thanks giving, Christmas, new years, and now every year on July 30th It will be the anniversary of when my brother Tim had his last smile, his last laugh and his last breath.
Mr. Li took that from him and from us. You…. Li will have to live with the demons and the guilt of what you have done.
Carol de Delley’s Victim Impact Statement…in its entirety.
I would like to thank your Honor and the court, for allowing me this opportunity to attempt to put into words, the affect this crime has had on me.
Timothy was a very alive person probably the most alive person I’ve ever known and I’ve had the privilege of being his mother. He had a very active, adventurous and vibrant life, he literally radiated energy!
The last professional portrait that was taken of him was a month after his 22nd birthday, I always had trouble pinpointing Timothy for any appointments especially photos. But there he is smiling that smile with that glint in his eye that always made me wonder what sort of mischief he’d be up to next.
And now that light that was Timothy’s life has been snubbed out! In the very cruelest, heinous manner possible by you Vince Li, nobody else just you. I believe you’re dangerous and why would I believe otherwise? You’ve demonstrated that very clearly…. No doubt!!
That night in July when I was informed that the young man who’s suffered that horrible death on the back of a greyhound bus was MY son I literally wished I’d just die too. I couldn’t imagine surviving when my child didn’t. My heart completely shattered and I ached to the core of my soul. I struggle everyday to appreciate my own life enough to want to continue to go on and to honor Timothy’s memory by cherishing the memories instead of allowing the all consuming sorrow to just swallow me up, because it could, and then this evil would claim me as well I cannot let that happen.
Besides taking my beautiful boys life that night, you took my sense of security, I’m often afraid now, in crowds, parking lots, and when I’m alone, I’m suspicious of people because I just don’t know what anyone is capable of anymore.
I have great difficulty sleeping, you see I have this vision in my mind of my son’s lifeless head with vacant eyes being tossed around that bus, there are many more images that enter my mind as I try to rest, they are all very clear & vivid thanks to the merciless and very graphic descriptions that the media and some witnesses provided. Sleep does not come easy and when it does it is not for very long durations.
Food… another of life basic necessities, no longer provides the same pleasure as it used to. I feel sick to my stomach every time I eat although I know I need to eat to stay strong for the days ahead and for the rest of my family. Even having to use a knife in my own kitchen for meal preparation, conjures up horrible pictures in my mind and those thoughts can sometimes be crippling.
I cannot leave my home to drive into the city without seeing as least one Greyhound bus I wonder “is that the bus my son was slaughtered on?” did they ever get all the blood out? I don’t want these thoughts…. they just come. And since I have to travel the highway to get to the counseling and therapy sessions I require to help me to cope…what choice do I have?
Have you ever experienced loss so profound that you are unable to breathe? I have… for 3 days. I found it nearly impossible to just breathe. As the descriptions of what all happened to Timothy came out I was so horrified that I couldn’t breathe. I finally asked the RCMP to tell me in full what all was done to my son so that I wouldn’t continue to hear it in bits & pieces, Bits & pieces was all that was left of my boy at the end of your rampage.
I can no longer tell my remaining children to “be careful and to make sure you get home in 1 piece” we can no longer “laugh our heads off” or our “guts out” these used to be such innocent phrases they now have such ugly meanings for me. My mom used to tell me id “forget my head if it wasn’t attached” and I can no longer “dead head” my flowers.
Medically speaking there is no medication that can treat the wounds inflicted upon a person’s soul. My body still functions as it’s meant to with the addition of aches caused by stress headaches caused by stress digestive trouble caused by stress insomnia caused by stress. I take a handful of supplements daily and see a chiropractor regularly to help with these issues because I do not want to be on prescription medications if I can avoid them. They make me feel too forgetful & confused and I would be tempted perhaps to take them all at once and what would that leave my other children with?
In the early days of this nightmare I was given lorazapam to allow me to breathe properly and sleep. My husband was always asking, “Where are your pills carol?” I just handed him the bottle silently as I knew what his fear was.
Financially, well we’ve never had a lot of money; always enough to take care of our children and our bills. I’m on long term disability now, which is significantly less than my salary was.
I drove a school bus and now I do not possess the patience, confidence, and ability to concentrate which is required to safely transport other peoples children (the most precious cargo)
My husband is the person who taught Timothy how to use a hammer and a paint brush, how to ride a 2 wheeler and helped him with homework. The stress of Timothy’s vicious murder is taking a huge toll on him and he is currently reducing his workweek to allow him a chance to grieve and to take care of myself and our younger son Kendall.
Our 2 girls live far away and it’s difficult not having them close but we’d worry about them if they lived with us. “UNPROVOKED” that’s the word that forever stuck in my mind. It could’ve been anyone anywhere anytime it wasn’t it was July 30th on a bus on the #1 hwy less then an hour from home when you tragically ended my son’s life. He did nothing to die for but he did not die for nothing! THAT’S A PROMISE!!!!
Tim de Delley’s (Tim’s Stepfather) Victim Impact Statement
I would like to thank your Honor for allowing me to share in court today the impact of Timothy’s murder on my family and me. Life has changed forever. It will never be the same.
During that last week of July 2008, I was looking forward to enjoying my two weeks of vacation. It had been two years since my last vacation. I was greatly in need of some r and r.
When I heard the thud of my wife dropping to her knees, her cries of “no don’t say that”, panic and confusion took hold of me. As I watched my wife with her heart completely broken, her inability to catch her breath, she wept uncontrollably and kept repeating “this isn’t happening”. My son screamed, “It’s not true!” He hung his head and tears streamed down his face. A feeling of helplessness came over me; inability to comfort my own family was present.
I could not believe the news the R.C.M.P. gave us, my tears would not stop. Sleep did not come that night, only memories of Timothy. He was a vibrant young man, who succumbed, without choice, to this brutal attack. Disbelief…this can’t be happening!!! Disbelief consumed my mind. In the days that followed, I could not read or listen to the news. The media was graphic as they vividly described the decapitation, defiling and cannibalization of Timothy’s body. Timothy had NO hope in defending himself from his attacker, you, Vince Li.
I felt angered at the Loss of Timothy and outraged at the news I heard. Questions ran through my mind like “Why didn’t someone help or try to stop the attack?”, “Why weren’t Li’s actions stopped when the police arrived?” and “Why did Timothy have to die?”
Little time has passed since Timothy’s death. I struggle, along with my family, to cope every day only to endure yet more sleepless nights. I have taken time off work only to find that my mind will not shut off. The images and detailed descriptions haunt me. As the days pass, I become more and more emotionally and physically drained. I see the same toll on the faces of my family.
The ringing in my ears has yet to subside; it’s been there since that night last July. The doctor says there is nothing wrong, but the ringing persists. It is hard to cope with everyday life as scenes from that night continue to run through my mind. So many things trigger the memory surrounding the utter horror of this situation. These triggers remind me with deep sadness of all the moments and milestones in life Timothy will never have the opportunity to experience or appreciate. It’s a struggle every day to avoid falling into depression and swallowed up by huge waves of emotion.
I find it all but impossible to say Good-bye to Timothy. Prior to cremation, we were informed we’d be unable to hold Timothy’s hand one last time. This only confirmed the images in my mind and the truth in the details of his grisly murder. All I could think of was Tim heading out the door with his cheerful phrase “See ya later”. Only memories remain for me, memories of teaching him to ride his bike, helping him to tie his shoes, evenings of homework and weekend camping trips. These memories and so many more are all I have to cherish for the rest of my life. It’s hard to believe the days of making memories with him are gone. The wedding and children he’ll never have, the words of wisdom and support I can no longer offer him, are gone… forever.
You, Vince Li, have a chance to regain what you lost, to get back what you had. I have only memories; memories of a person who was a son, a brother, an uncle, a cousin, a nephew, a grandson and a friend. He was a good person whom I can never have back. Timothy was a person who was full of life, had hopes and dreams, a person whom I was proud of, a free spirit. You have destroyed a piece of everyone that knew him and loved him. His anticipated journey home tragically ended.
How does a person go on? How do I answer the question from other people, “is that true?”, “did that really happen?” I struggle to keep the tears back. I have to sidestep people I know to avoid questions. I now have troubles in crowded places. I am suspicious of strangers and their actions. Going out now means repetitive trips to the city for therapy and counseling. It is unrealistic to put a time limit on healing. I see and hear other peoples’ accounts of how this murder has affected them and their lives. Li’s actions have unleashed pain and suffering that will go on in the lives of so many people. I hear words of disgust, anger and disbelief. Never have so many words of this kind ever been said to me. I encounter people who just don’t know what to say. They struggle to express their sorrow. They struggle to offer words of condolence, usually all they are able to say is “I’m so sorry”. What else could they say?
This is and will be the longest, hardest journey, getting back to an emotionally stable place in my life. People tell me “give it time, things will get better”. At this point, I don’t think so. The pain is still as sharp as the day it was inflicted on my family and me. I don’t know if it will ever subside.
Your actions have changed my life along with countless other peoples’ lives forever. It sickens me to know that you will have an opportunity to feel the sun on your face, to enjoy what life has to offer. I feel frustration by any of the possible outcomes that we face here from this trial. No words that I write will ever really truly express the amount of anguish and bottomless loss that I feel; nor will words ever fully describe the degree of impact you have inflicted upon me by your actions.. It is a hurt of such great proportion, it is truly indescribable, a hurt that I have never before experienced and pray never to experience again. I do not wish this anguish upon another person.
One question I keep asking myself, “If you are not criminally responsible then who is?” A man used a knife to slay my son, that man was you Li…you did it, nobody else. I fear that you have the capability to re-offend and that means another family would experience the horror and agony that my family has to endure. I cannot understand how one individual can inflict so much pain on so many people.
How does one measure impact? Does a scale measure it? By feelings and emotions? Maybe it’s measured by the loss of life to an extreme violence. However it is measured, let me assure you the magnitude of impact is more than you could ever imagine, and I believe YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE!!