A killer wants one last chance

An assassin who killed a teenage girl with 72 stab wounds 15 years ago wants to take a “last chance” to seek parole earlier than expected, despite strong opposition from relatives of the victim.

“Why Sébastien Simon can think of leaving after only 15 years, and think that society must pass in the towel [sur son crime] and consider him a good person? Asks Bruno Serre, the father of Brigitte Serre, in a letter filed Friday at the Gouin Judicial Center in Montreal.

Simon, 34, is a dangerous criminal who savagely attacked an employee of a service station in the Saint-Léonard borough in Montreal in January 2006.

The deceased, Brigitte Serre

Archive photo

The deceased, Brigitte Serre

With two accomplices, he had knocked out and stabbed Brigitte Serre 72 times, who was 17 years old.

” [Les détails de l’affaire] show all the cruelty, the atrocity of the crime ”, lamented the Crown prosecutor Me Philippe Vallières-Roland.

Arrested in Edmonton after being recognized by a flight attendant, the assassin had pleaded guilty to premeditated murder, being sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of release before 2031.

“How can a person be so barbaric and go after a young girl with so much violence?” »Affirmed Bruno Serre.

Ultimate recourse

But after 15 years in the penitentiary where he even married a former prison officer, Simon is now asking to benefit from the “faint hope clause”, which allows a jury to be brought forward to bring the eligibility date forward. parole.

This clause has since been repealed, but due to the date of the crime, Simon still qualifies for it.

“There has been a consistency in his progress, his case management team is behind him,” assured his lawyer, Mr.e Sandra Brouillette, to support her request, while recalling the murderer’s difficult childhood.

She also assured that Simon is aware that he will not be released from prison in the short term. Because even if he obtains the authorization to apply for parole earlier, he may have to wait a few more years.

Strong opposition

However, the Crown strongly opposes, among other things because of the still high risk of violent recidivism, and an introspection which seems too limited.

Especially since in recent years, Simon has accumulated three refusals of parole in order to obtain outings to visit his in-laws.

“He has never benefited from escorted outings, how can we hope to convince a jury that he can leave before the time prescribed by law”, launched Me Philippe Vallières-Roland.

Darlene Ryan and Bruno Serre, the mother-in-law and the father of the late Brigitte Serre, were present at the Gouin Judicial Center, in order to oppose the “last chance” request requested by the assassin Sébastien Simon.

Photo Michaël Nguyen

Darlene Ryan and Bruno Serre, the mother-in-law and the father of the late Brigitte Serre, were present at the Gouin Judicial Center, in order to oppose the “last chance” request requested by the assassin Sébastien Simon.

The relatives of Brigitte Serre, present at the court on Friday, are also categorically against this clause. Darlene Ryan, the victim’s mother-in-law, also recalled that the murderer never showed real remorse, according to her.

“He killed Brigitte with such violence, please don’t give him the chance to get out earlier than expected,” she pleaded. We did not choose to lose Brigitte nor to live as victims in perpetuity. He fully deserved his life sentence and I want him to do it. “

Time bomb

Bruno Serre for his part described the murderer of his daughter as “a time bomb ready to explode at any time”.

“I ask you to keep it inside [d’un pénitencier] for the safety of the family and also for the society, he said. Are we ready as a society to take this chance [de le laisser sortir] ? I’m not. “

Judge France Charbonneau, who expressed sensitivity for the relatives of the victim throughout the hearing on Friday, took the decision under advisement.

If the request is refused, Simon will have to wait 5 years before making a new request, so that he will then have served 20 years.

If she accepts, Simon can then ask a jury to look into his case and convince him that he deserves a “last chance”. The relatives of Brigitte Serre will also be able to express themselves.

However, the Parole Board of Canada will have the final say. Regardless, Simon will still be under the yoke of corrections until his death.


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