Life sentence for Toronto man who jumped in front of train after stabbing death of ex-girlfriend

Lascelles Allen has been sentenced to life imprisonment for the stabbing death of ex-girlfriend Suraiya Gangarman.

Lascelles Allen sentenced to life for stabbing death of ex-girlfriend Suraiya Gangarman

Lascelles Allen, 54, appeared in court Tuesday afternoon, where he received a life sentence for second degree-murder. (Trevor Dunn/CBC)

Lascelles Allen will not only spend his life in a wheelchair, he could also spend the rest of it in a federal prison.

Allen threw himself in front of a train on May 8, 2015, after stabbing and killing 31-year-old ex-girlfriend Suraiya Gangarman, who was a mother of three daughters. Despite surviving the suicide attempt, his lower legs were severed.

On Tuesday afternoon, the 54-year-old appeared in court, where he received a life sentence for second-degree murder. Judge John B. McMahon said Allen isn't eligible for parole until 18 years into his jail sentence.

Allen pleaded guilty to second-degree murder the night before his trial was set to begin.
Suraiya Gangaram, 31, was found stabbed to death in May 2015. On Sunday, Toronto police announced that her former boyfriend had been charged with first-degree murder in connection with her death. (Handout)

Allen and Gangarman were previously in a relationship for about two years. It ended the year before her death after Allen was charged with domestic assault, according to Det.-Sgt. Steve Ryan.

Gangaram had been living in a townhouse on Danzig Street at the time of her death.

Victim described as 'best friend, mom'

The oldest of her three daughters appeared in court Tuesday, along with several family members and friends, and read out her victim impact statement to the court.

It was the eldest daughter who found Gangarman, who Judge McMahon described as being  "brutally murdered."

"I couldn't handle losing my my mother. It came to the point where I did not want to be here in this world. But the only reason I pushed through it and put myself together and tried to stay strong was for my two baby sisters," the daughter said.

The three daughters were six, eight and 14 at the time of their mother's death.

After moving between houses, the three girls were put into foster care. Although the eldest daughter described her current foster care family as amazing, she said her first foster home experience was like "living in hell," saying she felt "trapped and controlled."

In his decision, McMahon cited the "tragic consequences" of the incident and "indignities" seen by the daughter among "aggravating factors."

Although the younger daughters weren't at the hearing, Crown Attorney Maureen Pecknold read the youngest daughter's statement. She also described the drawn pictures included with the youngest daughter's testimony.

When Judge McMahon spoke of the oldest daughter's statement, he said she "demonstrated maturity well beyond her years."

Corrections

  • A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that Lascelles Allen received a life sentence for first-degree murder. In fact, he was sentenced for second-degree murder after pleading guilty to that charge.
    Jan 18, 2018 9:39 AM ET