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Sentencing set for youth convicted in stabbing death of South Surrey mechanic

Pair were found guilty in May 2021 of second-degree murder, sentencing set for June 2022

It will be at least another six months before the two youth convicted of second-degree murder in connection with the August 2019 stabbing death of South Surrey mechanic Paul Prestbakmo learn their penalty.

According to officials with Surrey Provincial Court, sentencing for the teens – whose identities cannot be disclosed – is to proceed on June 8, 2022.

The date was set during a Nov. 24 appearance in the 14340 57 Ave. courthouse.

The guilty verdict was rendered in May of this year.

Charges against the pair – aged 15 and 16 years old at the time of the crime – were announced just over a month after Prestbakmo was killed.

READ MORE: Teens accused in fatal South Surrey stabbing now charged with assault on senior

READ MORE: UPDATE: Youth who killed South Surrey mechanic had ‘lethal intent to kill’

The 45-year-old died in a parking lot at 18 Avenue and 152 Street just before 3:30 a.m. on Aug. 16, 2019, after he was stabbed 42 times over the course of 26 seconds. The incident occurred after Prestbakmo stepped outside to take out some garbage and have a cigarette.

The two youths had been uninvited guests to a nearby house party, and they encountered Prestbakmo in the parking lot on the second of two walks that they’d set out on in the early morning hours.

In rendering his verdict, Judge Robert Hamilton said the sheer number of wounds inflicted on the mechanic during the altercation – combined with factors including that the teens had left the house party armed with knives – “shows a lethal intent to kill.”

Hamilton considered the evidence of 27 witnesses – including some who were as young as 12 at the time of the killing – in reaching his verdict.

He dismissed an allegation by one of the accused that the stabbing was the result of a gang hit.

Hamilton reached a not-guilty verdict with regards to charges of aggravated assault that were laid against the same youth in connection with injuries suffered by a White Rock senior in the hours prior to Prestbakmo’s death.

Under the Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA), penalties for youth convicted of certain crimes are less severe than those imposed on adults for the same offence.

For example, the maximum sentence for second-degree murder is seven years (four of those in custody and the balance in the community, with conditions and supervision) under the YCJA, while for an adult, the same conviction means life in prison with no chance of parole for at least 10 years.

A judge may impose an adult sentence on a youth who aged 14 and older who is convicted of a serious crime.

“In fact, prosecutors are obligated to consider seeking an adult sentence when a youth is found guilty of murder, attempted murder, manslaughter or aggravated sexual assault,” according to information at justice.gc.ca

“However, no portion of either an adult or youth sentence can be served in an adult prison while the youth is still under the age of 18.”



tholmes@peacearchnews.com
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Tracy Holmes

About the Author: Tracy Holmes

Tracy Holmes has been a reporter with Peace Arch News since 1997.
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