British Columbia

'How dare you': Surrey Six victims' families confront Jamie Bacon at gangster's sentencing

Nearly 13 years after directing the hit that would result in B.C.’s worst gangland slaying, Jamie Bacon faced a reckoning on Friday.

Red Scorpions gang leader faces 18-year sentence for conspiracy to commit murder

Eileen Mohan's son, Christopher, was one of six people killed in the Surrey Six killings in 2007. She delivered a victim impact statement on Friday at the sentencing hearing of Jamie Bacon, who ordered the hit that resulted in the murders. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

A gangster who believed he could play God with the lives of his enemies was confronted in a B.C. courtroom on Friday by two women whose families were shattered by his actions.

Jamie Bacon sat in the prisoner's box as Jourdana Lal and Eileen Mohan took the stand to confront the gang leader with the impact of his crimes.

Their emotional victim impact statements took place at Bacon's sentencing hearing in B.C. Supreme Court for his role in the so-called Surrey Six killings.

The Red Scorpions leader ordered the October 2007 hit on a drug-dealing rival that resulted in the largest gangland slaying in British Columbia's history.

Lal's younger brother, Corey, was the target. Her older brother, Michael, who happened to be at the scene when the killers arrived, was also murdered, along with four others, including Mohan's 22-year-old son, Christopher, who lived next door.

"You decided which hallways were unsafe to walk down. You decided which mothers didn't deserve to watch their children grow. You decided which fathers would lose their bloodline," Jourdana Lal told Bacon.

"You decided which daughters did not deserve their dads to walk them down the aisle. You decided which sisters should be left alone. You decided which children did not need uncles in their lives."

A hit that turned into a mass killing

Justice Kathleen Ker is to sentence Bacon next month for conspiracy to commit Lal's murder and for counselling someone to commit the murder of an associate in a separate case.

Although prosecutors say the range of sentence for the conspiracy charge is 11 years to life in prison, the Crown and defence have already settled on 18 years as the sentence recommended as part of the deal that saw Bacon enter guilty pleas to both counts.

Christopher Mohan, shown on a Facebook tribute page, was one of the Surrey Six victims. He lived across the hall from the scene of the crime and was a bystander with no connection to the criminal gangs involved in the hit carried out at Balmoral Tower in Surrey, B.C., on Oct. 19, 2007. (Facebook)

According to an agreed statement of facts, Bacon was trying to take over the lucrative drug market in Surrey, B.C., in the lead-up to the crime by forcing existing drug dealers to surrender their drug lines to the Red Scorpions.

Corey Lal led a group of rival drug dealers, and tensions rose between them. Lal was told he had to pay a $100,000 tax to resolve the conflict.

But when Lal refused to pay, Bacon decided that he had to die.

A plot was hatched to lure Lal to a parking lot, but it soon evolved into a home-invasion style robbery and murder. Those involved in the plot also changed, and three killers arrived at Lal's high-rise apartment on the afternoon of Oct. 19, 2007.

They killed both Lal brothers and Mohan, as well as Lal associates Ryan Bartolomeo and Edward Narong. Edward Schellenberg, a gas fitter who happened to be on a service call, was the sixth victim.

'How dare you touch my baby's life?'

Bacon took his place in the prisoner's box in a tight dark grey golf shirt and light grey pants. He is no longer as heavyset as he appears in pictures taken during his 2009 arrest, but he is very muscular. 

Both arms are heavily inked with tattoos. His hair was cropped close to his scalp, and he wore a pair of narrow, black-framed glasses.

Bacon sits in the prisoner's box as the family of Corey and Michael Lal watch the proceedings in B.C. Supreme Court on Friday. The Red Scorpions gang leader faces a sentence of 18 years in prison for conspiracy to commit the murder of Corey Lal. (Felicity Don)

The 35-year-old shifted in his seat as Mohan read her statement. She spoke for nearly an hour, detailing how she had named her son after St. Christopher in honour of an orphanage where the grandparents who raised her used to volunteer.

She spoke about Christopher Mohan's birth, his life and her devotion to him. She also spoke about the day his body was delivered to her for burial and how she wished she could have died instead of him or joined him in his casket.

"How dare you. How dare you touch my baby's life," Mohan said to Bacon as she looked directly at him.

"Who do you think you are to decide who lives and who dies?"

Mohan has made no secret of the fact that she believes Bacon is getting a sweetheart deal, and she said Canadian law has done everything to "nourish and respect" Bacon's rights.

"Are Christopher's rights also nourished and respected today?"

'Misconduct' by police could affect sentence

The 18-year sentence agreed to by the Crown and defence includes a 10-year prison term, to be served concurrently, for the counselling to commit murder charge.

In laying out the rationale for the sentence, prosecutor Bob Wright said while six people died at the scene of the crime, Bacon was only part of the conspiracy to kill one of them.

Bacon is to be sentenced next month after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit the murder of Corey Lal, the target of the hit ordered by the Red Scorpions gang leader, and for counselling someone to commit the murder of an associate in a separate case. (CBC)

He also said that "egregious misconduct" by police during the investigation into the murders was a factor in asking for a lighter sentence, as were breaches of the gangster's rights in pre-trial custody.

But he said the decision to carry out the hit in a residential building where others were likely to be present added to his culpability.

"Simply put, these six people would not have died if Mr. Bacon had not initiated this conspiracy," Wright told the judge.

"And as such, his moral blameworthiness is at the highest level."

Bacon waived his right to make a statement. 

With credit for the years he has already spent behind bars waiting for trial, Bacon will have 2,046 days — roughly five and a half years — left to serve.

Defence lawyer Kevin Westell said Bacon was once a promising young athlete who won a provincial amateur wrestling championship in his weight class in the year he graduated from high school.

But Bacon followed both his older brothers into a life of crime. 

He has reaped its benefits as well as its costs: His oldest brother, Jonathan, was murdered in 2011; his then-girlfriend died of a drug overdose in 2017.

"After serving the remainder of his time in custody in relation to these charges, Mr. Bacon hopes to plan and move above and beyond the criminal lifestyle that has characterized his adult life to this point," Westell told the court.

At the conclusion of her statement, Jourdana Lal said that unlike for Bacon, her family has no release to look forward to.

"There is no end in sight. I've been sentenced to a life of sadness," she said.

"I have been told that time heals everything. And here I am, still waiting."

About the Author

Jason Proctor

@proctor_jason

Jason Proctor is a reporter in British Columbia for CBC News and has covered the B.C. courts and mental health issues in the justice system extensively.

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