HomeDomesticConvicted rapist Raymond Burke sentenced to 19 years in prison for 1980s...

Convicted rapist Raymond Burke sentenced to 19 years in prison for 1980s sex assaults

Convicted rapist Raymond Burke has been sentenced to 19 years in prison for kidnapping and sexually assaulting two women in Ontario in the 1980s.

Justice Sandra Nishikawa handed down her sentence at the judge-alone trial in Superior Court in Toronto on Monday afternoon. With credit for time served in pre-sentence custody, Burke’s remaining sentence amounts to nine years and 11 months.

“It is necessary to denounce brutal and horrific crimes in the strongest terms. To victimize young vulnerable women and to subject them to brutal criminal acts is in reprehensible,” Nishikawa said.

Crown prosecutors had originally sought consecutive sentences of 12 years and seven months for the 69-year-old’s offences against Angela English and 12 years for his crimes against Nicole Murdock, with credit for time served.

Burke abducted and brutally attacked both women during separate incidents in southern Ontario in 1986, before fleeing to the United States and assuming a false identity. He was later arrested in Colorado for attacking another woman in 1987 and served decades in prison there, before being paroled and deported back to Canada in 2015.

A judge ordered a stay in his proceedings back in 2017 — allowing Burke to walk free for a time — before the Crown successfully appealed and he was once again committed to trial.

‘We get to heal now’

In an interview after the sentence was handed down, both Murdock and English said they were hoping to see a lengthier sentence.

“Our life was ruined for all these years and he got 19 years,” English said. “It’s a little disappointing.”

Still, Murdock said she hopes the pair’s fight will help empower others who have been sexually assaulted.

“Even if it took us 36 years, just please use your voice, and do not think you do not have any worth or you’re not valued, just because this happened to you. Take your power back,” she said.

Both women also agreed that the sentencing will help them process what happened all those years ago.

“We get to heal now,” English said.

Both Murdock, left, and English, right, say they plan to attend parole hearings in an effort to make sure Burke serves his entire sentence. (CBC)

Burke technically represented himself during the sentencing process, though court-appointed amicus lawyer Cynthia Fromstein also made submissions on his behalf.

At a hearing back in April, she called the Crown’s sentencing submissions “excessive” and maintained that a 10- to 15-year sentence would suffice.

In the end, Nishikawa decided on sentences of nine years in Murdock’s case and 10 years for English’s case, to be served consecutively.

“So I’m getting 10 years your honour?” Burke asked, before he was put back into handcuffs in court.

“Yes, just short of 10 years,” Nishikawa responded.

English and Murdock both attended Monday’s sentencing hearing, flanked by family and other supporters. Once again, both women were subjected to an outburst from their attacker.

A 2nd outburst in court

When asked to stop looking at his victims before the judge read her sentence, Burke loudly said, “I’m not allowed to look at the sketch artist, what am I subhuman? What is this death row? Am I here to die?”

This was the second such outburst that Burke’s victims have been forced to endure. Court previously heard that after a decision in the case was rendered last year, Burke began to yell racial slurs at his lawyers before he turned to the two victims from the witness box and said he hoped they died of COVID-19, before calling them “whores.”

Burke also offered an apology for his crimes during a sentencing hearing back in April, but Nishikawa noted that he did so when his victims weren’t present.

“Burke carefully avoided admitting he committed the offences,” Nishikawa said. “He continued to try to distance himself from the crimes, and said he wished to apologize to the women but chose not to do it when English and Murdock were in court.”


Support is available for anyone who has been sexually assaulted. You can access crisis lines and local support services through this Government of Canada website or the Ending Violence Association of Canada database. ​​If you’re in immediate danger or fear for your safety or that of others around you, please call 911.

RELATED ARTICLES

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

New updates