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Friday, October 18, 2013

Montreal father killed with one punch after being mistaken for a pedophile

MONTREAL - The Crown wants a six-year prison sentence for a 21-year-old man who killed a Montreal father with a single punch.
The victim, Iqbal Ahmed, was simply trying to bring his wayward teen daughter home but other teens attacked him, thinking he was a pedophile.
A judge will decide Francis Belanger's fate in December following sentencing hearings that ended this week.
Ahmed, who was in his fifties, had followed his teen daughter through south-end Montreal on April 8, 2011, believing she had gone out with two friends without permission.
The friends joined a larger group of teens and said a pedophile was chasing them.
Ahmed tried to flee but was accosted by two people, including Francis Belanger, who punched him without warning. Ahmed died and Belanger was arrested and later pleaded guilty to manslaughter.
As his relatives sat in the public gallery Thursday, Belanger told the court he regretted his actions.
"I learned from my mistakes," he said in a timid voice, reading from a prepared statement.
The Crown wants Belanger to be sentenced to six years in prison. The defence asked Judge Linda Despots for two years less a day to be served in the community.
Lawyer Clemente Monterosso told the court Thursday that his client has expressed "sincere remorse" and "empathy for the victim."
"It's closer to an accident than a murder," Monterosso argued.
But Crown attorney Jean Sebastien Bussieres pointed out that Belanger has been charged three times with violating bail conditions since his arrest.
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