Laura Szendrei's killer can now be named

Laura Szendrei - Leader file photo
Laura Szendrei
— image credit: Leader file photo

The killer of Laura Szendrei can now be identified, a Surrey Provincial Court judge has ruled, making Wyatt DeBruin's name public.

Szendrei, a student at Burnsview Secondary School,  was 15 years old when she was attacked in North Delta's George Mackie Park near 110 Street and 82 Avenue on Sept. 25, 2010.

DeBruin was arrested and charged in February 2011.

During his trial, the court heard that DeBruin awoke on the morning of the attack with an urge to have sex, and headed down to Mackie Park. It was there he laid in wait, until Szendrei walked passed.

Upon seeing her, DeBruin told her the chain came off his bike and he asked her for help.

She agreed to assist.

Then he attempted to subdue her by putting a looped zap strap around her neck, but she eluded him. He then chased her and clubbed her with a pipe.

She died in hospital that evening.

Because he was a youth (just a week shy of his 18th birthday) at the time of the attack, the media was banned from identifying him.

Even after a judge sentenced him as an adult last October, giving him life in prison, his name was still protected under the publication ban.

Until Thursday. DeBruin, 21, can now be named, however, his image is still protected from publication.

Szendrei's mother Rachel said after DeBruin's sentencing it's one of her greatest wishes that the accused be named.

"I now want to see his name out there," she said.

Szendrei's grandmother Betty Rotaro said after sentencing the murder has been a harrowing experience for the family.

"We can't even say (Laura's) name any more," Rotaro said, adding the pain is too deep.

As to the sentence given her killer, Rotaro said, "He got what he deserved."

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