July 21st, 2024

Woman killed by husband had filed police complaint, Quebec coroner’s inquest hears

By The Canadian Press on October 24, 2023.

Quebec provincial police headquarters is seen Wednesday, April 17, 2019, in Montreal. A Montreal woman who was killed along with her young sons by her estranged husband in a 2019 domestic violence case had told police more than a year earlier that she had been subjected to death threats and believed her husband was suffering from schizophrenia. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

MONTREAL – A Montreal woman killed along with her two young sons by her estranged husband in 2019 told police more than a year earlier that she had received death threats and believed her husband was mentally ill.

In August 2018, Dahia Khellaf had filed a domestic violence complaint with Montreal police, detailing incidents in which Nabil Yssaad twisted her arm and tried to bite her upon leaving a bank meeting and another when he threatened her with scissors.

She told police she wanted to separate from her husband, wondered if he was suffering from schizophrenia and feared for her own safety – but not that of her children.

A Montreal police investigator, Det.-Sgt. Caroline Raza, outlined the allegations during the second day of a coroner’s inquest into the killings of 42-year-old Khellaf and her sons, four-year-old Adam and two-year-old Aksil.

Police homicide investigators concluded the three were strangled by Yssaad before he took his own life by leaping from a hospital window.

The province’s chief coroner ordered a public inquiry after a coroner’s report into the deaths raised concerns about the work of authorities, including prosecutors and the judicial system, saying more could have been done to protect Khellaf and her children.

The report noted Yssaad had signed a peace bond five days before the 2019 killing that forbade him from being within 100 metres of Khellaf’s home or workplace.

When the peace bond was signed, the Crown dropped four charges against Yssaad – including assaulting and threatening Khellaf.

Coroner Andrée Kronström is presiding over the inquiry.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 24, 2023.

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