Mukhtiar Panghali murdered his wife, Manjit, in October 2006 and was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 15 years.
Manjit's family applied to the court for damages under the Family Compensation Act on behalf of her 10-year-old daughter, Maya. The girl was just three when her mom was killed.
The court award comes to just over $555,000 and includes $172,000 for future loss of assistance and childcare, $129,000 for past lost of assistance and childcare, $54,700 for the daughter's loss of dependency on her mother, $165,000 for future loss of dependency and $35,000 for loss of guidance. Another $58,600 was set aside for a public guardian and trustee fee.
While punitive damages can't be claimed under the Family Compensation Act, the family had asked for special costs from the killer.
In a decision released Wednesday, Justice Robert Punnett agreed that Panghali's conduct was reprehensible, but said he didn't think the case was a proper basis for awarding special costs.
"Indeed it is difficult to envision more reprehensible conduct than that of the defendant in murdering his wife and their child's mother and burning her body in an effort to escape detection. However, in the circumstances I do not think that this is proper basis for an award of special costs. "
Punnett said the court had already demonstrated its disapproval in the criminal proceeding with the conviction.
Before the burned body of 31-year-old Manjit was found on a beach in Delta, B.C., her husband made a tearful plea before the media asking people to help find his wife. Manjit, who was pregnant with her second child, disappeared after a prenatal yoga class.
The Panghalis were both teachers.
At the time of the murder, court heard that the family owned two homes, an investment property and the matrimonial home.
Both were sold and just over $260,000 is being held in trust pending the outcome of the estate's trust claims.
Mukhtiar Panghali's brothers and parents have also made claims on the proceeds of the two properties, claiming financial interests or that they wanted reimbursement for upkeep.
Punnett said in his ruling that the girl and her caregivers would likely have to wait to enforce the financial settlement until the other claims are resolved.
The girl is living with her aunt, her mother's sister, who also has three children.
Her aunt deposed to the court that the girl does well at school, is thriving and that she anticipates the child will graduate from high school and get a university education just as her parents did.
"I am satisfied that there is therefore a need for both ongoing funds and funds when the child turns 19 to enable her to pursue her education," Punnett said in his decision.
Also on HuffPost