British Columbia

'Think of never hearing your child's voice': impact of Luka Gordic stabbing voiced at sentencing

Emotions ran high as victim impact statements were read during the sentencing of Arvin Golic in the stabbing death of Luka Gordic.

Gordic died after being swarmed by a group of teens and stabbed in Whistler in 2015

Gordic was stabbed and killed by a group of teenagers in Whistler in 2015. (CBC)

Emotions ran high in court on Tuesday as victim impact statements were read during the sentencing of Arvin Golic in the stabbing death of Luka Gordic.

The Crown is arguing Arvin Golic should serve nine to 11 years in prison in the 2015 stabbing death of 19-year-old Luka Gordic in Whistler.

Golic, who was 18 at the time of the crime, was found guilty of manslaughter in June.

"The law is clear..that if you engage in a group enterprise you're held responsible for the group's collective actions even if you did not yield a weapon," explained Crown lawyer Henry Reiner in court.

Victim impact statements read

Gordic was surrounded by a group of teenagers in Whistler and stabbed.

In the hearing Tuesday, friends and family had the opportunity to read their victim impact statements. In total there were 25, with some asking the Crown to read their statements.

Many of those present in the courtroom were crying or had to leave during the reading.

"Luka was a loving, wonderful, giving, beautiful young man with a heart bigger than the world around him," wrote Milena Skoro, a family friend of Gordic's.

Gordic's girlfriend, Tljana Djasic also wrote a statement. She looked directly at Golic while a Crown lawyer read her words.

"We repeatedly replay the interactions...we shared with Luka making reality unbearable knowing he is not with us anymore," wrote Djasic.

No sentence recommendation yet

Golic's sentencing was supposed to happen in September. Instead, the Crown presented evidence Golic had threatened a Crown witness.

Reiner argues Golic's previous criminal record and character should be contributing factors in B.C. Supreme Court Judge Mary Humphries' decision.

The defence has not given its recommendation for a sentence for Golic.

In early October three youths, who cannot be named because they were 17 at the time of the crime, were also found guilty in Gordic's death.

Two were found guilty of manslaughter and a third guilty of second-degree murder. The Crown has said it will be seeking adult sentences.

'Think of never hearing your child's voice'

Speaking after Tuesday's hearing, Luka's father Mitch Gordic said his son died senselessly.

"Real loss is only possible when you love someone more than yourself. Those of us who loved Luka know real loss," he said.

"Think of never hearing your child's voice. I don't know where my child is. I don't know if he's warm or frightened or safe. Can he hear my voice when I pray for him when I speak to him?"

With files from Megan Batchelor and Meera Bains