Self-described ‘incel’ who drove into crowd in Toronto killing 11 is jailed for life

A man who admitted to running-down 10 people in a Toronto van attack in 2018 has been sentenced to life imprisonment.

Alek Minassian, 29, previously admitted to planning the 23 April 2018 van attack on a busy  street in Toronto’s North York district because he self-identified as an “incel”, a term used to describe young men who blame women for their limited sexual experience.

Minassian rented the van before murdering 10 people, allegedly as punishment to society for being an “incel”, as he told police following his arrest.

One other person injured during the attack also died later of injuries she sustained.

On Monday, Justice Anne Molloy said she considered the woman to be an 11th victim of Minassian, who was found guilty last year of 10 counts of first-degree murder.

He was also charged with 16 counts of attempted murder, covering all of those who were injured on Yonge Street.

Serving multiple life sentences concurrently, Minassian will be eligible for parole in 25 years under Canadian law. He may not be granted parole however.

“Every single one of these lives were precious,” Justice Molloy said while delivering the sentence.

As CTV News reported, the judge admitted that a recent Supreme Court decision had prevented Minassian from serving consecutive sentences.

She said statements from victims’ families and others were important to consider when a parole decision is made in future, however.

“What you said counts, it matters, it matters to me and it will matter to other people who will have to make decisions in the future.”

Families of the victims of a deadly 2018 van attack react after the guilty verdict in March 2021

(REUTERS)

Minassian allegedly took inspiration from online groups where “incels” talk, authorities previously said.

He was found guilty in March 2021 of murdering 10 people and injuring 16 others who were caught up in his rampage.

That came after Minassian pleaded no criminal responsibility on the grounds of his autism spectrum disorder (ASD), which Justice Molloy accepted.

Minnasian was however ruled to have understood his actions, with the judge saying “even an incapacity to empathise for whatever reason, does not constitute a defence”.

The 11 people killed as a result of the attack were Anne Marie D’Amico, 30, Dorothy Sewell, 80, Renuka Amarasingha, 45, Munir Najjar, 85, Chul Min ‘Eddie’ Kang, 45, Mary Elizabeth ‘Betty’ Forsyth, 94, Sohe Chung, 22, Andrea Bradden, 33, Geraldine Brady, 83, Ji Hun Kim, 22. and Amaresh Tesfamariam, 65.

“We all wanted him to not be eligible for parole for much, much longer but … I’m happy that we have him behind bars,” said Omar Najjar, the son of one of those killed in the attack, to CTV News.