A Canadian court is preparing to deliver a sentence for a man convicted of the murder of four individuals of Pakistani descent.

In Ottawa, Nathaniel Veltman, convicted of attacking and fatally injuring four members of a Muslim family of Pakistani origin in London, Ontario, Canada, using his pickup truck in June 2021, is set to be sentenced on January 4 and 5 next year, as decided by a Windsor court in a brief hearing.

Veltman, appearing via video link from the Southwest Detention Centre in southwestern Ontario, faced the Windsor court on Friday, according to Canadian media reports.

Following a jury’s verdict last month, Veltman was found guilty on four counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder for the assault on the Afzaal family while they were on a walk on June 6, 2021. The victims—46-year-old Salman Afzaal, his 44-year-old wife Madiha Salman, their 15-year-old daughter Yumna, and 74-year-old grandmother Talat Afzaal—lost their lives in the attack. The couple’s nine-year-old son was seriously injured but survived.

The two-day sentencing hearing in January 2024 is scheduled to take place at the London Superior Court before Justice Renee Pomerance, who presided over the 11-week trial in Windsor.

While the trial occurred before a jury in Windsor, the sentencing was moved to London at the request of the victims’ family members.

The assault on the Afzaal family sparked nationwide condemnation in Canada, being labeled by police as a hate crime, prompting urgent calls to address Islamophobia in the country.

During the trial, Veltman stated that his actions were influenced by the writings of Brenton Tarrant, the gunman responsible for the 2019 mass shooting that claimed the lives of 51 Muslim worshippers at two mosques in New Zealand.

Veltman also testified that he had purchased a bulletproof vest and military-style helmet online, wearing them on the day of the attack on the Afzaals. He confessed to feeling an “urge” to strike the family upon seeing them and acknowledged identifying them as Muslims based on their appearance.

Comments are closed, but trackbacks and pingbacks are open.