NEWS

Scarborough neighbour killer gets 3 life sentences

12/22/2011 10:13 EST | Updated 02/21/2012 05:12 EST

A Scarborough man convicted of killing two of his neighbours and trying to kill a third on Thanksgiving weekend in 2008 has been given three life sentences.

Nathaniel O'Brien, 34, was convicted earlier this month on two counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder in the Oct. 13, 2008, double stabbing deaths of Saramma Varughese and her daughter, Susan John.

O'Brien also planned to sexually assault John's daughter, Sarah John, in the attack at the family's home in the Meadowvale Road and Sheppard Avenue East area. She escaped, but O'Brien choked her outside the home shortly afterward.

Sarah John, now 23, recognized O'Brien as her next-door neighbour. He lifted his black balaclava while he attacked her.

The two murders each carry an automatic life sentence with no chance of parole for 25 years. Justice Brian Trafford Thursday handed down a third life sentence Thursday, for the attempted murder.

"We're so thankful for the verdict," John said outside court. "This man has gotten what he deserved. And the only thing we can ask, and we're thankful for, is no family has to go through what we've gone through."

Trafford told the court the attack "was a calculated series of acts deliberately and intentionally carried out for the purpose of dominating Sarah through an aggressive, degrading rape at knife point."

O'Brien showed no emotion in court.

Crown prosecutor Paul Amenta said it's unlikely O'Brien will ever be released.

"Mr. O'Brien in our view is a highly dangerous psychopath," he said.

O'Brien was out on bail for two different alleged sexual assaults when he committed the murders.

Those charges were stayed on Thursday so that the alleged victims would not have to relive their experiences in court.

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