Ibrahim Ali: B.C. teen’s killer gets life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years

The man who murdered a young teen girl in Burnaby, B.C., seven years ago has been sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years.

Ibrahim Ali was convicted of first-degree murder last winter in the July 2017 slaying. The victim’s identity is protected by a publication ban.

As a B.C. Supreme Court justice handed the sentence down on Friday, Ali — who joined the hearing by video from prison — stood and said he did not kill the victim and that his sentence was unfair.

Click to play video: 'New chapter in story of Ibrahim Ali'

New chapter in story of Ibrahim Ali

Earlier in the sentencing hearing, a packed courtroom heard multiple victim impact statements, including a nearly 47-minute video statement from the victim’s father.

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He described listening to the entire trial, no matter how torturous, describing the more than six-year wait for its conclusion as justice delayed for his “beloved daughter.”

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The father said he could only imagine what she would look like now and described going to her grave, where he told her he had failed to protect her enough.

During the video statement, Ali got up from his seat and paced back and forth. At one point, he appeared to be plugging his ears as members of the gallery broke down in tears.

The victim’s older brother, who travelled from China for the hearing, held a photo of his young sister as he told the court she was a victim of rape and murder.

He described how the killing had shattered his sense of safety and security, and how he doubted he’d ever let his own kids out now without a GPS on their phone.

He added that it was “terrifying” to know his children will need to navigate a world with very real monsters in it.

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A jury took less than 24 hours last December to reach its guilty verdict at the end of the eight-month trial, which heard Ali’s DNA matched semen found in the girl’s body.

At trial, the jury heard the victim was found partially clothed in a wooded area of Burnaby’s Central Park just after midnight on July 19, 2017, only hours after she’d been reported missing.

Jurors heard from more than 40 witnesses and saw disturbing evidence, including crime scene photos showing her pink wallet and cell phone, as well as a pair of headphones, on the ground.

Prosecutors argued Ali grabbed the girl off a trail in the park, likely while she was listening to music, then sexually assaulted and fatally strangled her.

Ali’s defence lawyer, Kevin McCullogh, did not call any witnesses or present evidence, but challenged the credibility of Crown witnesses and why investigators had failed to test some evidence for DNA.

He argued that Ali and the girl had sex, but that someone else killed her and dumped her in the park, telling the jury she was not the “innocent” depicted in Crown’s “rose-coloured” portrayal.

Ali later unsuccessfully sought to have the verdict tossed over delays in bringing the case to trial.

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