williams-sentencing

Court sketch of Justice Robert F. Scott sentencing Russell Williams on Oct. 21, 2010. ((Alex Tavshunsky/CBC))

Excerpts from Justice Robert F. Scott's comments during the sentencing of Russell Williams in Belleville, Ont., on Oct. 21, 2010:

There's been a saying that we've all used over time, and that is "Nothing surprises me anymore." That adage has no meaning here. Fortunately for all, the nature of these crimes are very rare in our society. They do happen and they do occur when least expected.

The depths of the depravity demonstrated by Russell Williams have no equal. One suspects that he has contained for most of his adult life sexual desires and fetishes. However, in 2007, these inner thoughts began to control his private actions, pushing him deeper and deeper into criminal behaviour, which culminated in the brutal and senseless murders of two innocents.

Russell Williams will forever be remembered as a sado-sexual serial killer. Russell Williams lived a charmed life — the best of education, a leader of men and women, a respected rising star in our beloved armed forces.

His double life fooled most people. He may be best described in the biographical sense as "Canada's bright shining lie" — my apologies to Mr. Sheehan [Neil Sheehan, a reporter who wrote a 1988 book with that title about a U.S. lieutenant-colonel in the Vietnam War].

Russell Williams's fall from grace has been swift and sure. His crimes have adversely affected this country and our community and the many families and individuals, all victims alike.

The residents of Tweed say they've lost their innocence and their sense of safety; members of the military speak of their sense of betrayal and seek a better explanation from their superiors [as] to what actually happened and why it happened.

The victims of the attempted break and enters and break and enters and theft from the many private residences share the common theme that their lives and their homes have been violated. My wish to you is that in the fullness of time, your lives will return to normal.

But we all understand why we are here today. Not to take away from the seriousness of the other crimes, but it is the serious acts of violence towards four women, two of whom were murdered, that must be the centred focus of our attention. Our thoughts and prayers are with all the victims, but these special victims and their families are the most damaged by the criminal behaviour of Russell Williams.

Marie-France [Comeau] did not have to die. Jessica [Lloyd] did not have to die. May all of you find the peace that you desperately deserve.