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B.C. library killer apologizes to victims, cites ‘enormous’ drug use

Yannick Bandaogo pleaded guilty to a 2021 mass stabbing outside a North Vancouver library

The man who committed a deadly mass stabbing at a library in North Vancouver, B.C., two years ago, has apologized to each of his victims by name at his sentencing hearing.

Yannick Bandaogo’s lawyer says his client cannot explain a motive for the attack that killed one woman and wounded several other people, but in his statement, the 30-year-old told the court of a troubled childhood that led him into drug use.

Bandaogo pleaded guilty this year to second-degree murder, several charges of attempted murder and one count of aggravated assault over the March 2021 attack outside the Lynn Valley Library.

He says he travelled to Vancouver via Toronto and Winnipeg before the attack, and the availability of crystal meth led to him consume an “enormous” amount of the drug, which he says “played a role” in his behaviour.

The sentencing hearing in the B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster this week has been hearing impact statements from victims and their relatives, including the mother of the woman who was killed, who said the death of her “gentle” and “fearless” daughter had shattered the family.

Crown and defence lawyers have jointly proposed that Bandaogo receive a sentence of life in prison with no chance of parole for 15 years, although Justice Geoffrey R.J. Gaul may still decide on a different term.

Second-degree murder carries a mandatory life term, but parole cannot be granted until at least 10 years after sentencing.

Before Bandaogo spoke, his mother, whose name was not released in court, said in a letter read out in French by a defence lawyer that her son had a long history of mental health and drug problems but was denied help.

She said in the letter that Bandaogo was turned away when he showed up at hospitals in Quebec, and requests for help from other agencies were denied because he was not deemed “an immediate threat.”

Bandaogo’s condition worsened, she said, and he left Quebec without telling his family, who lost touch with him for about a year.

READ ALSO: Crown, defence seek life for deadly B.C. mass library stabbing