March 5th, 2024

London, Ont., attacker tells his sentencing hearing he regrets the loss he caused

By Maan Alhmidi, The Canadian Press on January 23, 2024.

Justice Renee Pomerance, left to right, Nathaniel Veltman, and Crown Prosecutor Kim Johnson are seen as the verdict is read in the Superior Court of Justice in Windsor, Ont., in a courtroom sketch made on Thursday, Nov. 16, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Alexandra Newbould

LONDON, Ont. – A man who killed four members of a Muslim family in London, Ont., says he is sorry for the pain and suffering he caused.

Nathaniel Veltman, 23, was found guilty in November of four counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder for hitting the Afzaal family with his truck while they were out for a walk on June 6, 2021.

Speaking at his sentencing hearing in London today, Veltman says he doesn’t pretend to grasp how much harm he caused but he has seen the extent of pain and suffering his actions brought about.

He says he wants to express his regret for the loss of four innocent lives and that a young boy was left injured and on his own.

Veltman addressed the court after an Ontario judge heard opposing arguments earlier in the day on whether Veltman’s attack amounted to terrorism, with the Crown arguing he was a white supremacist with a plan to commit violence while the defence claimed he kept his beliefs to himself.

Veltman’s trial was the first where Canada’s terrorism laws were put before a jury in a first-degree murder trial.

Forty-six-year-old Salman Afzaal; his 44-year-old wife, Madiha Salman; their 15-year-old daughter, Yumna; and her 74-year-old grandmother, Talat Afzaal, were killed in Veltman’s attack, while the couple’s nine-year-old son was seriously hurt but survived.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 23, 2024.

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