1 No.

21-11-36-1

IN THE NUNAVUT COURT OF JUSTICE

IN THE MATTER OF:

HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN - v ALLISTAIR NAKASHOOK Accused

---------------------------------------------------Excerpt of Proceedings before the Honourable Madam Justice Cooper in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut on the 19th and 20th day of July, 2013 ---------------------------------------------------(Excerpt: Speaking to Sentence and Sentence) APPEARANCES: Mr. T. Lemon Mr. L. Lane Ms. L. Stevens, Q.C. For the Crown For the Accused

---------------------------------------------------Charged under s. 235(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada ----------------------------------------------------

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TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGE Facts Speaking to Sentence by Crown Speaking to Sentence by Defence Sentence by Cooper J., N.C.J. Certificate of Transcript 3 8 21 30 40

INDEX OF EXHIBITS ON SENTENCE NO. 1 2 3 4 Agreed Statement of Facts Criminal Record of Allistair Nakashook Four Victim Impact Statements Trial Exhibits 1 to 34 Excepting Exhibits 16 to 26 Inclusive PAGE 8 9 11 16

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July 19, 2013 The Honourable Madam Justice Cooper Mr. T. Lemon Mr. L. Lane Ms. L. Stevens, Q.C. D.G.P. Bilko Nunavut Court of Justice For the Crown

For the Accused Court Reporter

----------------------------------------------------MR. LANE: On the morning of February 6, 2011,

following a night of heavy drinking, the defendant, Allistair Nakashook, killed his common-law spouse, Desery Panaktak, by beating, strangling and stabbing her in their bedroom. Allistair was 22 and Desery was 19. They had

been in a relationship intermittently for about three years, and had a two-year-old son named V. Jealousy was an ongoing issue in their relationship. Allistair and Desery had spent the day prior with their son. In the evening, they arranged a

babysitter so the two of them could attend a house party held by Allistair's brother Brent and sister-in-law Shelly. Allistair arrived at the

party with his Uncle David around 7:30 p.m. Desery came a little while later. Several people

were there socializing and drinking Smirnoff vodka, playing cards and watching a UFC event on

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t.v. Desery and Shelly left the party for about an hour and went to a friend's house to continue drinking. Desery came back to the party around

11 p.m. to find Allistair sitting up, passed out on the couch. She shook him awake and they both

continued to drink and socialize. Around 2 a.m., a neighbour complained about the noise, so Desery, Allistair, Brent, Shelly and David headed to Desery and Allistair's house at 36C Kilgavik Street. They continued drinking, David passed

talking, and listening to music. out on a loveseat, and Brent left.

Around 4 a.m., Allistair, Desery and Shelly were invited to a birthday party next door. They

returned to 36C around 5 a.m. and brought a few people from the birthday party back with them. Shortly before 6 a.m., Allistair and Desery got into an argument in their bedroom, and Desery slapped him in the face. It ended with Allistair Soon afterward, all

hugging and comforting her.

the guests either left or were passed out in the livingroom and kitchen. Shortly before 9 a.m., a few of the people who had been passed out woke up. They looked

into the bedroom and saw Allistair and Desery sleeping sideways on their bed. All appeared

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fine.

They closed the bedroom door, and everyone

made their way out of the house, leaving Allistair and Desery alone. By this point, both

of them were very intoxicated. Between 9 and 10 a.m., Allistair assaulted Desery multiple times, causing significant bruising to her face, torso, neck and arms. He

strangled her, the sustained pressure creating petechia, or pinhead bruises, in her eyelids and mouth. He stabbed her with a steak knife six

times in the neck and punctured her superficially twice on the shoulder. One of the neck wounds

severed her carotid artery, an injury that was inevitably fatal. bedroom. Starting at 10:20 a.m., Allistair made three short videos. In the first two, he filmed He The stabbings occurred in the

himself walking and talking in his kitchen.

appears dishevelled, and the bridge of his nose is cut. In the first video, he says, "I did

something bad, and now I gotta fucking die for it." In the second, he narrates a lengthy chili In the third, he films

recipe for his brother.

his computer monitor playing a slide show of himself, Desery and V. in happier times. Allistair tried to clean up the blood from the bedroom floors and walls, and he washed his

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bloodstained clothes and bedding.

He wrote two

notes, and left them on a dresser and table in the house. In them, he apologized, and alluded Desery's body was left

to Desery having died.

lying on the bed mostly covered with a blanket. Earlier that afternoon, Allistair phoned his brother Brent and asked if he knew where Desery was. He also asked Brent if a young man Desery

was known to have been involved with was in town. Shortly afterward, Allistair called Brent again and said he'd woken up to find Desery dead in the bed beside him. strangled her. He said he may have stabbed or Allistair admitted to Brent that

his earlier questions about Desery and the young man were, quote, "just to throw you off". Allistair proceeded to phone other relatives, telling them he was afraid he killed Desery either by stabbing or strangling her. was crying and sounded drunk. He

He said he blacked

out after Desery hit him in the head with a cup. He described waking up beside her. open, and she wasn't breathing. Her eyes were

He said he tried

to wake her, then realized she was dead. Allistair expressed suicidal thoughts, and asked one of his aunts to take care of his son. That afternoon, Allistair also visited two neighbouring apartments. He visited Shannon

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Kemukton twice, telling her he could not find Desery. Shannon noticed a cut across the bridge

of Allistair's nose, and he told her Desery had thrown a mug at him and hit him in the head. Allistair also went over to Florasteen Gargan's and had asked if she knew where Desery was. Early that morning, Florasteen had heard She

loud banging next door for 20 to 25 minutes. asked Allistair what all the noise was about earlier, and he said he and Desery were wrestling. Florasteen asked about the cut on

Allistair's nose, and he told her Desery hit him with a cup. Allistair continued to drink vodka.

Florasteen eventually got him to leave her apartment. Shortly afterwards, she found his Allistair

parka and went next door to return it.

was on the phone, and would only open the door narrowly. Around 6:15 p.m., one of Allistair's relatives called the RCMP. Officers arrived at Allistair was in

his house shortly after 7 p.m. his house holding a knife. himself if they came inside.

He threatened to kill The police spent

two hours talking him down before disarming him and taking him into custody. An officer found She

Desery covered with a blanket on the bed.

was in a pool of blood, and her body was cold to

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the touch.

Allistair has only a skeletal and

periodic memory of events after 2 a.m. on February 6, 2011. THE COURT: Comments? MS. STEVENS: MR. LANE: Yes, Your Honour. Thank you. EXHIBIT 1 ON SENTENCE: AGREED STATEMENT OF FACTS MR. LANE: Your Honour, perhaps now Exhibit 1 on the sentencing hearing.

would be an appropriate time to deal with the victim impact statements. THE COURT: I haven't had the

opportunity to read them and counsel haven't looked at them. deal with this. I'm not sure how you wish to Do you intend to call any of the

authors of these statements to read them to the court? MR. LANE: I certainly intend to

canvass that, or have Miss Tagak do that now. What I propose is that counsel review them and then just decide if we have any comments on their contents. THE COURT: I think we need to

adjourn, then, to do that so that counsel can look at them in case there are aspects of them that I may not be appropriate or admissible. Can

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you get copies made, Madam Clerk? MR. LANE: That's fine, Your Honour.

Perhaps, before we break, then, I will simply file the accused's criminal record, which my friend has reviewed. MS. STEVENS: THE COURT: MS. STEVENS: acknowledged. THE COURT: Thank you. Exhibit 2 on Acknowledged. I'm sorry. Ms. Stevens?

The record is

sentencing, the criminal record. EXHIBIT 2 ON SENTENCE: CRIMINAL RECORD OF ALLISTAIR NAKASHOOK THE COURT: So, we will adjourn. I am

going to ask Madam Clerk to make two copies of all of the victim -- Mr. Lemon? MR. LEMON: interrupt. Sorry. I don't mean to I just

We've provided copies.

followed the procedure as I know the practices to be by the court. THE COURT: We will adjourn. Madam

Clerk will make copies from the originals, provide counsel each with a copy to review, I will review them, and then we will commence when everyone's had an opportunity to review them. (ADJOURNMENT)

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THE COURT:

Counsel, then, on the

victim impact statements, any issue with them going before the court, Miss Stevens? MS. STEVENS: THE COURT: No, Your Honour. Thank you. I'll hear from

Crown, then, on submissions. MR. LANE: Your Honour, there are

four -- sorry, I have no submissions on the victim impact statements. THE COURT: Thank you. I am going We

to ask counsel to keep their voices up.

have the fan going, the courtroom has a lot of people in it, and they all must hear what is being said. MR. LANE: There are four victim I ask that they

impact statements, Your Honour.

be marked as exhibits on sentence. THE COURT: I have one question

Mr. Lane, about the victim impact statement of the adopted sister of Miss Panaktak. sure of the name. to me. I'm not

The signature is not familiar

It's one page with writing on the front

and back. MR. LANE: So, that would be the

victim impact statement of Demetra, D-E-M-E-T-R-A, Panaktak. THE COURT: Thank you. The victim

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impact statements collectively will be Exhibit 3 on sentence. EXHIBIT 3 ON SENTENCE: FOUR VICTIM IMPACT STATEMENTS MR. LANE: Your Honour, the

statements prepared by Meeka Isnor and Bobby Isnor are cousins of the victim. They have

requested that the statements not be read aloud in court. The statement by Demetra Panaktak, she

has requested that I read it into the record, and I believe that Anne Isnor, the victim's aunt, is going to read her own statement, with leave of the court. THE COURT: on that procedure? MS. STEVENS: THE COURT: Mr. Lane. MR. LANE: Thank you. This is the No, none, Your Honour. Thank you. Go ahead, Miss Stevens, any comments

victim impact statement of Demetra Panaktak, prepared today, Your Honour. She writes:

Desery Chantal Tologaknak Panaktak was born on August 7, 1991 in Y.K. Both

she and I were adopted to my grandmother Gwen. I remember her first word she

said when she was six months old, which was 'Data'. She was jumping in the

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jolly jumper, and I was playing with her, and she called me 'Data'. I told

my gran and asked her, 'Why she's calling me Data? stuck. I'm not a grandpa.' That name

Everyone calls me Data now still

to this day. Desery had the most beautiful smile which lighted up the whole room, gentle laugh which her son inherited. had her whole life ahead of her. wanted the best for her son. so proud of him. Desery She

She was

She didn't even get

to potty train him or see him off to his first day of school like all mothers do. I am still in shock. to believe she is gone. I don't want The day she

passed, my heart, body, mind and soul went crazy. And then, we couldn't have It

a funeral 'til three weeks later. was so hard on our family. unbelievable.

Still is

I just wish this was all

a bad dream and someone can wake me up from it. We were still grieving for Debbie, who was Desery's biological mother, who passed a few months before Des. Our

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family has suffered through four deaths in a period of two years. This is a loss I will never, ever be able to get over. She will be in I am

my thoughts and heart forever.

going to try and be strong for her son, V. , and be there for him to try and make sure he has the best upbringing as possible. When he gets older, he will

have a lot of questions, and I will try to help him the best I can. No matter what I say, No matter what I do, No matter what I think, It won't bring her back. She is gone forever, and this is something I have to live with for the rest of my life. Our whole family

has to, especially V. July 19th, 2013. Ms. Isnor? MS. A. ISNOR: This is her aunt. My name is Anne M. Isnor. Her

Desery Tologaknak Panaktak is my niece.

mother was my sister, Debbie Valerie Panaktak. Desery was only 19, and a very proud mother to V. He was everything to her, and she was my niece, and very pretty.

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Over the past two and a half years, it has been very hard for us, and it has been awful to go through this again and again. I cannot

imagine and -- I cannot imagine what and how she felt, and how she's tried to get out of the relationship with Al, but he always had to tell her for their son, V ., and she would go back to him. back. My heart is very sore, very angry towards Al. He has taken my niece Desery, whom we miss He would use his son for her to go

so much -- whom we miss so much, and we are very -- we are in so much pain. so much. I loved Desery

I cannot -- I cannot tell her 'cause I cannot

she is not here for me to tell her.

give her a kiss 'cause she is not here, and I cannot give her a hug. She is not here for us to

tell her why we are in so much pain, anger; the love -- the love I have for her, and I cannot tell her how much I love her so much. I just

imagine -- I just can't imagine what she has gone through. I am here for her, and I will always remember her as she was, as beautiful as she was. Death in the family leaves a void that cannot be filled. No one can ever take the place of this

individual in the world, and that is Desery

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Tologaknak Panaktak. THE COURT: Mr. Lane. MR. LANE: moment, Your Honour. If I can just have a With regard to the criminal Thank you, Miss Isnor.

record which I filed before the break, Your Honour, this is not Mr. Nakashook's first violent conviction. He has four as a youth, a number of

breaches of court orders as an adult, an assault with a weapon from 2007, two assaults from 2009. Those are from Cambridge Bay. One of those assaults was on Desery Panaktak, the other was on a relative who was present, and he was remanded for those sentences, and then his sentence was deemed to be time served, and he received a probation order and a firearms probation order. And then what followed

in 2009 and 2010 was three more breaches of court orders, bail conditions and the probation order -- sorry, four more breaches. And just with regard to the evidence before Your Honour on this sentencing hearing, as my colleague has already indicated, we are asking that the trial exhibits, with the exceptions previously noted, be made exhibits on this sentencing hearing. MS. STEVENS: On consent.

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EXHIBIT 4 ON SENTENCE: TRIAL EXHIBITS 1 TO 34, EXCEPTING EXHIBITS 16 TO 20 INCLUSIVE THE COURT: Mr. Lane, am I correct in

my understanding that Mr. Nakashook was on a conditional sentence order at the time of this incident? MR. LANE: Your Honour. Yes, it would appear so, I'm not aware of any breach

proceedings, but -THE COURT: I'm not sure if that's

November 1st, 2010, or January 11th. MR. LANE: THE COURT: MR. LANE: That's November 1st. Thank you. Your Honour, the offence

of second-degree murder does carry a mandatory sentence which is life in prison with no eligibility for parole -- with no parole for a minimum of 10 years. Counsel are in agreement

and are submitting a joint position for Your Honour to consider, which is, of course, life in prison, and with an increased parole ineligibility of 13 years. The accused has been in custody since February 6, 2011, and he is entitled to credit at the rate of one-for-one from that date to the

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date of sentence. MS. STEVENS:

Your Honour -I think my friend is just

meaning that, of course, his parole ineligibility will be calculated from the day he was arrested and in custody, so it's effectively the same thing. MR. LANE: you. THE COURT: MR. LANE: Right. Okay, thank you. Right. I misspoke. Thank

Your Honour, the position

the Crown, in arriving at this position, paid particular attention to Section 718.2(e) of the Criminal Code and the Supreme Court cases of Gladue and Ipeelee . Mr. Nakashook's Aboriginal

heritage and an over-representation of criminals in the justice system are significant factors, and those certainly have been taken into consideration. With regard to mitigating circumstances, the guilty plea, Your Honour, is significant. not an early plea. It is

It comes midway through the

trial, and for that reason, our submission is that it is not to be accorded the same weight as a guilty plea early on in the proceedings. it certainly is to his credit that he is admitting guilt today, and it does spare the victim's family from having to sit through what But

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was looking to be another full week of court here in Cambridge Bay. factor. His youth is a mitigating

He was 22 years old at the time.

Aggravating factors, Your Honour: Certainly, Your Honour has heard quite eloquently from Desery's relatives the impact that this offence has had on them and on the community as a whole, I would submit. She was 19 years old.

Her whole adult life was in front of her, and was taken from her that night, and her son, V. , as you've already heard, will never know his mother. This was a spousal assault -- sorry, spousal offence. The Criminal Code does say that that is

to be treated as an aggravating factor in itself. There is a breach of trust in this case, Your Honour. Mr. Nakashook was someone who Desery

should have been able to count on for love and support and protection, and he violated that trust that night. The victim was very intoxicated. have been relatively defenceless. quite a bit bigger than Desery was. petite woman. She would

The accused is She was a

He outweighed her by about sixty

pounds and was about seven inches taller than her. The pathologist who testified noted the

absence of defensive injuries to the knife attack, from which it can be inferred that she

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was incapacitated in some way, or perhaps even unconscious at the time. The killing was of an exceptionally brutal nature, Your Honour. in a rage. The accused killed Desery

It can certainly be inferred that it

was due to his jealous nature or jealousy on that night. The attack was prolonged. It occurred in

more than one location.

The blood spatter

analyst testified that there were -- or it can be inferred from his evidence that she was stabbed in two locations in the bedroom, not just in one place. It can be inferred that the attack took

up to 20 or 25 minutes, based on the neighbour's evidence about hearing noise, banging from next door. Desery's death would have occurred quickly once she was stabbed, based on the pathologist's evidence, but what led up to that would not have been quick, and would have been, frankly, terrifying for her. The bruising certainly makes

that out, the evidence of strangulation. The accused's post-offence conduct, or what he did after the killing, Your Honour, can be taken into consideration. He made some efforts

to clean up the scene, and initially seems to have been trying to cover up his offence. initially told relatives and others that he He

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didn't know where she was.

He seemed to have

tried to cast suspicion on another young man here in town, and the visits to the neighbours, Your Honour, show that this is not a man who was immediately remorseful at the time. He continued

to drink vodka, he visited with the two women, and that can be taken into consideration, as well. Your Honour, I've produced two cases for the court. today. I've provided copies to my friend earlier One is Mark King Jeffrey, and the other

is VanEindhoven , both Nunavut decisions involving second-degree murder. VanEindhoven is a spousal That conviction has

case involving a stabbing.

been overturned, but in my submission, the sentence and Justice Kilpatrick's reasoning on the sentence is still persuasive, and there are some similarities. So, I'll provide Your Honour with a copy of these decisions. The Jeffrey decision, of

course, Your Honour is well acquainted with, but the -- at the back of the decision, there is a helpful table of sentencing decisions which establishes the range, and in my submission, puts this sentence that we're proposing, 13 years without eligibility for parole, puts it squarely within the range and is an appropriate sentence.

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Your Honour, denunciation and deterrence are the most important factors in this case. Of

course, this court is well aware of the problem with spousal assaults in Nunavut. This is

exactly the type of situation that everyone fears when hearing about abusive domestic relationships, and it calls for a sentence denouncing this kind of conduct and recognizing the severe impact that such an event has on the community. position. With regard to ancillary orders, DNA is a mandatory order. I am seeking a lifetime I submit that I ask Your Honour to accept the joint

firearms prohibition, Your Honour.

a lifetime firearms prohibition under Section 109 of the Criminal Code is mandatory in the circumstances, Your Honour. THE COURT: MS. STEVENS: Thank you. Miss Stevens. I

Thank you.

Thank you, Your Honour.

join with the Crown with respect to the sentencing position put before you. I concur

that it is one that is reasonable in all the circumstances. With respect to Allistair, he is now 23. is the child of a Scottish-born father and an Inuit mother. His mother was born, he tells me, She He

on a DEW Line site in 1961 near Gjoa Haven.

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was one of eight siblings, four of whom live in this community. Her life and their life

respectively growing up has been described by a number of people, and secondhand information indicates that it was a hard life. He knows that his mother was sent to residential school in Inuvik at age six. of course, comes to him secondhand. all, of her siblings, the same. That,

Most, if not

He knows

firsthand that his mother struggled and continues to struggle with depression, addiction, and has frequently attempted suicide during the course of her life and during times when he, as a child, was living with her. in British Columbia. His father is still living He is dying of lung cancer.

His mother is living in Peace River with her current partner, as she is also very unwell. His parents met in Yellowknife. They had

what can only be described as a turbulent relationship, separated and got back together many times. During separations, his mother

mostly lived here in Cambridge Bay with relatives, and he found himself, before the age of about eight or nine - and he has some memory of this - going back and forth between the two communities. He has two half brothers, Terrence They

and Brent, both some years older than him.

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were mostly raised by his mother's parents here in Cambridge Bay. He has quite close

relationships with both of them to this day. His father, when he was -- before he was 10, was imprisoned for a year for violence. When he

was released, the three of them, the family, decided to leave the north, and travelled to B.C., a community called Maple Ridge, where part of his father's family lived, to try to make a better life. They lived in a number of places in

B.C.; with relatives, on their own. His father was mostly absent. alone with his mother. He was mostly

From his description of

their life together, his mother was obviously suffering a great deal with loneliness, a dislocation from her community and family. He

went to many schools, and there were serious and obvious problems in the home. She was

hospitalized for suicide attempts during that time, he believes, more than once. His father

was occasionally part of the family, but it broke down for good when he was in early adolescence. He lived for a short time with his paternal grandparents, and then came back to Cambridge Bay when he was about in Grade 8 in hopes of finding a stable home with family members here. He does not speak the language of his mother

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or grandparents.

He describes rekindling those

relationships here as a positive in his life, but instability because no one had room for him, and those who did were struggling. Again,

unfortunately, there are some of the same features present that were present in B.C.; a lack of stability, addictions and violence. He did well in school in many subjects, particularly in English. One of the highlights

of his school life, he described to me, are where he won a science fair. He completed Grade 9, but When he left, he had

did not complete Grade 10. good grades.

With respect to his own substance abuse, sadly, by his middle teens, he was drinking. Alcohol was provided to him by older relatives, and he was binge drinking frequently by 16. since that time, not surprisingly, has been characterized by times of employment and commitment to try to pull himself out of the road that he was on or the hole that he was falling into punctuated by falls, clashes with the law, and again, this very representative pattern of trying to find a way himself down south and failing, trying to find a way in Cambridge Bay and failing. He has not had a stable home in Life

either community all of his life.

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I have seen the records and can confirm that he himself has attempted suicide more than once. One led to a critical medevac to Edmonton for surgery to a life-threatening slash to himself. He has self-harmed more than a dozen times. He

has worked for short periods commercial fishing, hunting and guiding, guiding photographers or ecoguiding. He has worked at various labour-type

jobs, both in the south and in the north, but has never found steady employment. He says that his

favorite job and almost favorite period of life is when he went commercial fishing with his brother Brent. When he is working, he tells me

that he has been told that he is a good worker. Despite the obvious fractures and troubles in his family, he describes his family in loving terms. him. Some are here today to show support for He thanks them for being here, and they

have asked to be allowed to express that they continue to love him and that they're going to miss him: His sister-in-law Shelly; Tracy, a

cousin, his Aunt Mary, his cousin Tia, his cousin Crystal, his cousin Amber, his grandmother Mary's daughters Riley (phonetic) and Mikhaila. brother Brent would be here. back yet from his fishing. Bob is also here. His

I don't think he is I believe his uncle

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I respectfully suggest that the mitigating factors here include, as my friend concurred, his youth at the time and still, the obvious Gladue factors that are real for him and which I suggest continue to show ripples in his life, the guilty plea. It is acknowledged that it is not early, but that factor has to be tempered or has to be interpreted, in my respectful submission, in a different way in the north than it is in the south, and I say that for this reason: For all

of the time that he has been on remand, he has been a very, very long way from counsel, and this week really has been the first time that he's had any significant time with counsel. It is also true for all people whose memory is greatly compromised by alcohol and who cannot believe when they are sober what they have done when they are intoxicated, that it is very difficult to come to grips with that reality. also suggest that his remorse is a mitigating factor and is real, and I suggest that some of the behaviour he displayed, even while intoxicated to different degrees in the hours following the critical events, show remorse. I respectfully disagree that some of the inferences my friend suggests can be drawn there I

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are founded, and I caution -- I think it should be done with caution. In my respectful

submission, his behaviour following the critical events displays a great deal of irrationality and emotional reaction and continued intoxication. The aggravating factors are acknowledged. There was a breach of trust. This was a spousal

relationship and they had a young child together, the violence used of a duration and severe nature, and he has a related record, although it's -- there are no serious related convictions on it, but for a young man, it is not to his credit. The loss to Desery's family and to his

family - she was loved by his family, as well and to the community cannot be measured, and has been very eloquently stated both in the impact statements and by her aunt. unfillable. The void left is

The value of her life is precious.

Allistair knows that he is leaving this community shortly and understands that he may well be leaving this community forever. said good-bye to his family. He has

He will -- and this

is not, I think, probably called a mitigating factor, but it is a reality, and I think it informs the principle of restraint in these circumstances. events. He has been detained since these

That will be dealt with in the parole

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ineligibility process.

But unlike so many people

down south, he has been detained thousands of miles from his family, and has therefore not had access to them for that period. That will also be true when he is sentenced, as he will be sent to a penitentiary in the south. He doesn't know where, of course, but it

will mean that he is unlikely to see his family members any more than very, very rarely, and I suggest that restrains in the north in a different way than would be true for the south. We have spent some hours talking about what he now, at 23, has to do and cope with and what he has to commit his life to. He has spoken to

me with significant insight, and although no one can expect the family or the community to accept this at face value, he will have the rest of his life to prove this. He is a different man, he

believes, than the man who went in to jail. He wrote a 120-page book for me while in jail. It's extraordinary, and he wants to

continue to try to come to grips with what his own life has been and hopes that maybe he can communicate, because he has some gifts, to others about where the path he was on can lead and the tragedy and the horror of where the community, he, his family and Desery's family find

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themselves in today. to -THE COURT: this.

I believe he would like

I'm so sorry. My apologies, Miss Stevens. Not at all.

I forgot

MS. STEVENS:

As I said at I believe

the outset, this is a lonely process.

he would like to say something briefly, but he may correct me. THE COURT: THE ACCUSED: Mr. Nakashook? I want to send my deepest I never wanted

apologies to Desery's family.

this, and I'll spend the rest of my life trying to make amends for it. THE COURT: reply, Mr. Lane? MR. LANE: THE COURT: No, Your Honour. Thank you. I thank Thank you. Is there any

counsel for their submissions.

I need a bit of

time to review the materials and come to my decision. 9:30. ----------------------------------------------------PROCEEDINGS ADJOURNED TO 9:30 A.M., JULY 20, 2013 ----------------------------------------------------We will adjourn to tomorrow morning at

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July 20, 2013 9:30 A.M. Session D.G.P. Bilko Court Reporter

----------------------------------------------------THE COURT: Allistair Nakashook has

pled guilty to second-degree murder in relation to the death of Desery Panaktak on February 6, 2011. He is now before the court for sentencing.

The Criminal Code provides a mandatory minimum sentence for second-degree murder. Mr. Nakashook The

must be sentenced to life imprisonment. court has no discretion in this regard.

The only issue to be determined by the court is how much of his sentence Mr. Nakashook must serve before being eligible to apply for parole. I wish to make it clear that by setting the date upon which he may apply for parole, I am not determining when he may be released from jail. He may choose to not apply for parole. If he

does, it will be up to the National Parole Board whether or not parole is granted, and if so, on what terms and conditions. Parole can take many different forms, and it is intended to provide for a supervised gradual reintegration into society should an offender be determined to be suitable. If granted parole,

for the rest of his life, Mr. Nakashook will be

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subject to supervision and the possibility of being returned to jail should he violate the terms of his parole. The Criminal Code states that Mr. Nakashook must spend a minimum of 10 years in custody before being eligible to apply for parole. The

court has the discretion to increase this period of parole ineligibility up to a maximum of 25 years. The Crown and defence have jointly

submitted that parole ineligibility should be increased in this case to 13 years. In February of 2011, Allistair Nakashook and Desery Panaktak had been in an on-again, off-again relationship for about three years. The relationship was difficult. They had a son,

V ., who was two at the time of the offence. Allistair was 22 and Desery was 19. On the

evening of February 5th, 2011, the couple attended a party at the home of friends. The

party moved around to different houses over the evening, ultimately ending up at Allistair and Desery's. At six o'clock in the morning, Allistair and Desery got into an argument in their bedroom. Desery slapped Allistair, and he responded by trying to comfort her and calm her down. By this

time, the couple had been drinking for almost 12

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hours.

They were both highly intoxicated.

At

approximately nine o'clock in the morning, the remaining guests in the house checked on the couple in their bedroom and saw that they were both sleeping. The guests left the house.

Exactly what happened at that point is not clear. There is some evidence that Allistair was

hit in the head by a cup thrown by Desery, at which point he lost it and blacked out. Desery, ultimately killing her. He beat

When he awoke,

he was lying next to Desery, who was dead. Desery had died a violent and brutal death. She was badly beaten. Her body was full of

bruises, she was stabbed six times in the neck. One of these stab wounds was inevitably fatal, having severed the carotid artery. She had two

superficial cuts on her shoulder, she was strangled. It would have taken some time to have There is little

inflicted these injuries.

evidence that Desery defended herself, suggesting she was unable to do so. Allistair has only a

sketchy recollection of the incident. This offence was fueled by jealousy and alcohol. The level of violence is indicative of Upon realizing

a person acting in extreme rage.

what had happened, Allistair did a number of things. On one hand, he seemed to try to divert

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suspicion from himself by trying to clean up the blood, washing his bloodstained clothes and the bedding, and by asking people if they had seen Desery. On the other hand, he readily admitted

what he had done by calling relatives and saying he thought he had killed Desery, making a video in which he stated he had something bad that he had to die for, and preparing a suicide note. There is some evidence that he was still under the influence of alcohol for much of this time while some of the other evidence, such as the video he made, suggest that he was thinking clearly and was sober. Pursuant to s. 745.4 of the Criminal Code , in determining the parole ineligibility period, I must consider the character of the offender, the nature of the offence, and the circumstances of the commission of the offence. In determining

parole ineligibility, the court is performing its sentencing function, and as such, the sentencing principles set out in s. 718 of the Criminal Code apply. Those principles include denouncing

unlawful conduct, deterring the offender and others from committing similar offences, and rehabilitating offenders. Deterrence and

denunciation are clearly significant factors to be considered in this case. However, the

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prospects for rehabilitation of the offender are also relevant as they relate to the character of the offender. In determining the period of parole ineligibility, it is not necessary to consider the time that Mr. Nakashook has spent awaiting trial. This is addressed by s. 746 of the

Criminal Code which provides that the time for determining parole ineligibility starts running from the time the offender is remanded into custody for the offence. Accordingly,

Mr. Nakashook's period of parole ineligibility will commence from February 6, 2011. Mr. Nakashook was born to a Scottish father and an Inuk mother. His mother attended In her

residential school from a very young age. adult life, she struggled with depression, substance abuse, and suicidal ideation.

Mr. Nakashook's parents are no longer together, but when they were, the relationship was turbulent with many separations and reconciliations. This resulted in Mr. Nakashook moving continually between Cambridge Bay and Yellowknife, never establishing any sort of stability in his physical environment let alone his emotional and mental environment. Before

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Mr. Nakashook was 10, his father was jailed for a year for an offence of violence. When the father

was released from jail, the family moved to British Columbia where the father was from. However, this did not provide the change that they had hoped for. The family moved several

times and the father was away from the home most of the time. The mother continued to struggle

and the family dealt with many issues including the mother's hospitalization on at least one occasion for a suicide attempt. The parents separated permanently when Mr. Nakashook was an early adolescent. Mr. Nakashook lived briefly with his paternal grandparents. When he was in Grade 8, he He completed Grade 9

returned to Cambridge Bay.

in Cambridge Bay and his marks were quite good, but he did not return to school. It was

difficult for him to stabilize his circumstances in Cambridge Bay, as housing was difficult. Like so many in Nunavut, his extended family were living in overcrowded housing. As

well-intended and caring as they might have been, under such circumstances, it is difficult to provide an appropriate environment for a struggling teen. Mr. Nakashook fell into binge

drinking, intermittent employment, and a pattern

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of relocating between Cambridge Bay and Yellowknife. He self-harmed many times and

attempted suicide on more than one occasion. Although his employment was intermittent, he had a reputation as a good worker. In February 2011, it seems that Mr. Nakashook had his own housing. When he and

Miss Panaktak were together, they would stay in his unit. move out. When they were not together, she would The evidence disclosed that during the

periods of separation in his relationship with Miss Panaktak, their son would stay with Mr. Nakashook. This speaks to him as a parent.

In many ways, this case represents the spectrum of the various social issues that plague Nunavut. Allistair Nakashook suffered from an His mother

instable home life in childhood.

struggled with addiction, depression and suicide, and his father clearly had his struggles. This inevitably impacted on Mr. Nakashook, most notably through his parents' inability to provide a stable and secure home. Although

apparently intelligent and capable, Mr. Nakashook has a low level of education, has not been able to find and maintain stable employment, abuses alcohol, struggles with thoughts of suicide, and took on the responsibilities of parenthood at a

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very young age when it is doubtful he had the coping mechanisms to deal with such responsibility. He does not speak Inuinnaqtun,

nor have I heard that he has any significant connection to the land or a traditional lifestyle. In my view, these are precisely the

systemic factors that the Supreme Court of Canada speaks of in the cases of Gladue and Ipeelee . Mr. Nakashook has a criminal record which includes seven convictions for offences of violence. I am advised that an assault In

conviction in 2009 was on Desery Panaktak. February of 2011, he was on a conditional

sentence for having breached a probation order and an undertaking. Mr. Nakashook has entered a guilty plea. my view, the timing of the guilty plea does not detract from its mitigating impact. At the In

commencement of the trial, Mr. Nakashook offered a guilty plea to manslaughter. He accepted I

responsibility for the death of Miss Panaktak. accept that distance and geography make it difficult for counsel to maintain relationships with clients and obtain instructions, particularly in serious and sensitive cases such as this. These factors were aggravated in this

matter by issues relating to Mr. Nakashook's

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health which resulted in him being brought into the community only the day before his trial commenced. There are aggravating features to this offence. This homicide occurred in the context S. 718.2 deems this The

of a domestic relationship.

to be an aggravating factor on sentence.

policy reason behind this provision is readily understandable. The spousal relationship is

intended to be one of mutual trust, respect and support. An abuse of one's spouse violates the

foundations of the intimate relationship and the foundation of the family unit. violent and prolonged. The offence was

Mr. Nakashook has a prior

related record, including a conviction for violence on the same victim. In mitigation, Mr. Nakashook is still very young, and there are good prospects for rehabilitation. He has entered a guilty plea. Desery I

accept that he is truly remorseful.

Panaktak was a young mother with a life ahead of her. The victim impact statements eloquently There is

state how she is missed by her family.

no sentence that this court can impose that will bring Desery back. The court process is I want the

naturally focused on the offender.

family to know that throughout the process, no

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one has lost sight of the fact that a young life was tragically taken. It is clear that in the community, there are overwhelming feelings of grief, loss and anger in relation to this case. and is to be expected. This is understandable I hope that over time,

people will remember that at some point, Allistair and Desery loved each other. As much

as they may have grown apart towards the end of their relationship, they had one thing in common that they would always share; their love for their son, V . V. has lost both parents. He is

now reliant upon extended family to provide him with the nurturing, support, love and stability that children normally look to their parents to provide. I hope that, given time, both sides of

the family will be able to put V.'s best interests before their own feelings of loss and anger. I hope that they will be able to find a

way to achieve some harmony in their relationships with each other. If there is a desire to honour the memory of Desery Panaktak, this can be best achieved by caring for her son. Let V. be the child and

adult that breaks the cycle of dysfunction, substance abuse and violence that so affected the lives of his parents and his paternal

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grandparents. Mr. Nakashook, please stand. On the charge

of second-degree murder of Desery Panaktak, you are sentenced to life imprisonment. You will not

be eligible for parole until you have served 13 years of your sentence. order. There will be a DNA

There will be a lifetime firearms

prohibition pursuant to s. 109 of the Criminal Code . ----------------------------------------------------EXCERPT CONCLUDED ----------------------------------------------------CERTIFICATE OF TRANSCRIPT I, Dawna Bilko, hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and accurate transcript of the proceedings taken down by me in shorthand and transcribed from my shorthand notes to the best of my skill and ability.

DATED in Lethbridge, Alberta on this 8th day of August, 2013.

_______________________ D.G.P. Bilko Official Court Reporter

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