When Steven Brandon Mulligan-Brum apologized in court last month for shooting and killing a teen on a Surrey street in 2010, he said he was foolish, had grown up since then and hoped the victim’s family would forgive him.
But during his sentencing in New Westminster Supreme Court on Wednesday (May 30), Justice Elizabeth Arnold-Bailey said she didn’t buy it and didn’t feel Mulligan-Brum was at all remorseful for taking 16-year-old Adem Aliu’s life.
“His delivery in court was devoid of any real emotion,” she said, noting he was not struggling to stay composed and seemed to talk mostly about how his own life had been impacted.
Arnold-Bailey handed Mulligan-Brum a sentence of seven years, minus two-and-a-half years credit for time served since his arrest, meaning he’ll spend another four-and-a-half years in prison.
Mulligan-Brum, 22, pleaded guilty last year to manslaughter for shooting Aliu to death in the early hours of July 14, 2010.
Aliu and a group of about six teens were drinking and roaming the area near 141 Street and 103 Avenue, allegedly vandalizing cars, including a BMW owned by Mulligan-Brum.
Mulligan-Brum was inside his home at the time, and after hearing a ruckus on the street, went outside and around a corner, carrying with him a loaded handgun. He fired two shots in the direction of the group. One of the bullets struck Aliu in the head, killing him.
Defence lawyer Lawrence Myers said his client had a gun in his possession for protection because he felt his own life and that of his family might be in danger. Meyers argued Mulligan-Brum had no intention of killing anyone and was immediately remorseful.
But Justice Arnold-Bailey noted he didn’t go to police, and instead hid the gun and waited for police to come to him. The shooting also took place while Mulligan-Brum was on probation for a prior offense and was prohibited from possessing weapons. He has past convictions for uttering threats and drug trafficking.
Mulligan-Brum displayed behaviour considered “truly abhorrent” in a civilized community, said Arnold-Bailey, calling his actions “profoundly” careless, thoughtless and misguided. Still, she credited Mulligan-Brum for furthering his education while in custody and said she’s hopeful he can be rehabilitated.
In a victim-impact statement last month from Aliu’s adoptive father, Nezir Alija, said the teen was a good student, a talented soccer player and wanted to become an air traffic controller. He had come to Canada from Kosovo in 2006 for a better life, Alija said.