Convicted killer loses appeal of sentence

A man convicted of murdering his estranged wife in Nanaimo more than eight years ago had an appeal to reduce his 19-year period of parole ineligibility dismissed by the B.C. Court of Appeal recently.

Kelvin Purdy was convicted of second degree murder for killing Denise Purdy and sentenced in November 2005 to life imprisonment with no chance of parole for 19 years.

His request that his period of parole ineligibility be reduced to 12-15 years was dismissed by a panel of B.C. Court of Appeal justices June 21.

This is the third time Purdy has put his case before B.C.’s appeal court.

In 2008, the court dismissed his appeal of his conviction and a bid to reopen his conviction appeal was dismissed by the same court in 2010, although the second judgment noted that he might have recourse to other remedies, including an appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada.

In 2012, the Supreme Court of Canada dismissed Purdy’s application for leave to appeal his conviction.

In the latest application, Purdy’s lawyer argued that the sentencing judge erred by relying on the appellant’s lack of remorse and poor prospects for rehabilitation and that such error produced an unfit sentence outside the appropriate range for the second degree murder of a spouse.

“I disagree with the appellant that an offender’s prospects for rehabilitation should not be considered by the sentencing judge in determining whether to extend the period of parole ineligibility,” wrote Justice Anne MacKenzie in her written reasons for judgment.

“In summary, I agree with the Crown that the judge considered the factors that are the subject of the appellant’s complaint only to the extent that his denial of responsibility indicated future dangerousness and suggested that his prospects for rehabilitation were not promising.”

Purdy’s sentence falls within the appropriate range for parole ineligibility given the circumstances in which the crime was committed, states the decision.

Denise Purdy was stabbed 21 times on her way to a bus stop on Dec. 12, 2003, and died of her injuries. The case against Purdy was circumstantial and none of the witnesses were able to identify the assailant.

A restraining order had been placed on Purdy prior to the murder.

“As observed by the judge, this brutal murder had about it “elements of pre-thought-out planning” preceded by months of fear-inducing harassment and the breach of a court order designed to protect the victim,” wrote MacKenzie.

“The circumstances demonstrate an extreme breach of trust in that the appellant exploited his knowledge of Mrs. Purdy’s morning routine to ambush her on her way to work, relying on information obtained from their eldest daughter that she was not at her partner’s residence and would therefore be following her usual route to work.”

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