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'Lock him up and throw away the key': Family, friends of murdered Surrey teen want harsh sentence for killer

Last Updated Sep 21, 2017 at 12:48 pm PDT

Serena Vermeersch, 17, was killed in Surrey in 2014. (Courtesy Facebook)
Summary

Crown, Defence both say Raymond Caissie should serve life without chance of parole for 17 years

Sentencing hearing held today for Raymond Caissie, who admitted to killing Serena Vermeersch in 2014

NEW WESTMINSTER (NEWS 1130) – He shouldn’t live among the rest of society. That’s what the family and friends of a 17-year-old girl who was murdered in Surrey are saying, after a sentencing hearing for the killer.

The Crown and Defence both say Raymond Caissie, 43, should serve a life sentence and not be eligible for parole for at 17 years. A week ago, he pleaded guilty to second degree murder.

Serena Vermeersch, 17, was found dead on railroad tracks in September, 2014, a day after her mother reported her missing.

Gizella is a friend of the Vermeersch family and wants the judge to deliver the harshest sentence possible. “For all the awful things he did, I think by now we all know that he will re-offend. He is not mentally stable to be let out.”

“He cannot be let out,” she says. “They need to lock him up for good and then throw away the key. He cannot come out because he will just do bad things again. Who is next? What innocent child is next?”

Vermeersch’s family sat with their arms wrapped around one another in the courtroom today for the sentencing hearing. The occasional sob could be heard as a Crown lawyer read a victim impact statement.

Caissie was a convicted sex offender and at the time of the murder, had just been released from prison after serving 22 years for sexual assault.

His release came with a warning he was a high risk to re-offend, with Caissie admitting he would likely attack someone upon being let out.

Second degree murder carries an automatic life sentence, with the only question being how soon he can ask for parole. In addition to 17 years without a chance of parole, both Crown and Defence are asking for a ban on owning firearms.

The judge has has reserved his decision. Caissie is expected to be sentenced on October 20.