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‘Honour killing’ claims fall flat as father given life sentence

Kamikar Singh Dhillon claims he killed his daughter-in-law because he suspected she was going to leave her husband and disgrace the family. In a Brampton courtroom, he almost defended it as an “honour” killing. Trouble is, no one believes him.

Kamikar Singh Dhillon claims he killed his daughter-in-law because he suspected she was going to leave her husband and disgrace the family. In a Brampton courtroom, he almost defended it as an “honour” killing. Trouble is, no one believes him.

The judge didn’t believe him, neither did the Crown. Homicide investigators found no evidence to confirm his allegations of a sexual relationship between the woman and another man, or that she was soon to leave her husband.

Still, Crown attorney Steve Sherriff did tell a sentencing hearing Wednesday that “this chilling and disturbing mindset needs an extra deterrence.” And he added that the Crown’s office is reviewing other murder cases in Peel “to see if this is a dynamic that we have overlooked.”

In setting Dhillon’s sentence without parole at 15 years, Justice Bruce Durno said, “His motivation, to save the family pride, was a profoundly disturbing aspect of this crime. ... It is not now or never will be the right thing to do.”

But the Punjabi community in the Toronto area has called Dhillon’s “honour” killing claim an outrageous defence, one that has been discussed threadbare at Punjabi-language call-in radio and TV shows.

“It wasn’t an honour killing,” said Baldev Mutta, executive director of Punjabi Community Health Services in the Peel Region. “It was plain, simple murder ... there are no honour killings among Punjabis ... at least not here.”

 
 
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