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Elaine Biddersingh sentenced to life with no parole for 16 years in stepdaughter’s murder

News staff, The Canadian Press | posted Monday, Sep 19th, 2016

Calling the treatment of her stepdaughter “cruel, callous, relentless, and ultimately lethal,” a judge sentenced Elaine Biddersingh to life in prison with no parole for 16 years on Monday.

Biddersingh was smiling and shaking her head as Justice Ian MacDonnell read the sentence, saying that Biddersingh neither accepted her role in her stepdaughter’s death, or showed any remorse for it.

Elaine Biddersingh was convicted of second-degree murder in June in the death of 17-year-old Melonie Biddersingh, whose frail body was found in a burning suitcase in an industrial parking lot north of Toronto in 1994.

Her body went unidentified for years until 2011, when her stepmother told an Ontario pastor the girl had “died like a dog” after being confined and denied food and medication.

Melonie’s father, Everton Biddersingh, was found guilty in January of first-degree murder in his daughter’s death, which carries an automatic life sentence with no chance of parole for 25 years.

Before reading the sentence on Monday, Justice MacDonnell described the girl’s last two years of life as “a living nightmare.”

Biddersingh plugged her ears as he described the horrid conditions that led to her eventual death, telling the court the girl weighed just 55 pounds at the age of 17 and had over 20 fractures.

She was beaten daily, deprived of food, and locked in a small broom closet.

Reporters Momin Qureshi and Marianne Boucher are reporting live from the courthouse. See their updates in real-time below, or at this mobile-friendly link.

Related stories:

Stepmom guilty of second-degree murder in teen’s death
Pastor’s role in murder case highlights issues with religious confessions
Life sentence for father found guilty in ‘suitcase’ murder

Prosecutors argued Elaine Biddersingh should spend 18 to 22 years in prison before having a chance at parole while the defence suggested 10 years.

Though she did not testify at the trial, her lawyers suggested Melonie’s father was to blame for the teen’s death, while his wife was a victim of domestic abuse.

The judge acknowledged that Biddersingh was a victim of abuse at the hands of her husband, but said it didn’t absolve her of the abuse she subjected her stepdaughter to, adding that she failed to protect the teen and was “a full partner” in her death.

Melonie’s brother, Cleon Biddersingh, 42, told a sentencing hearing earlier this month he has night sweats, nightmares, and eating disorders as a result of what he saw his sister suffer through and what he experienced himself.

“No human being or animal should ever be treated the way Melonie and I were treated at the hands of Everton and Elaine Biddersingh,” he said in a victim impact statement.

Earlier Monday, the sentencing hearing was interrupted on Monday after Biddersingh yelled at the judge repeatedly.

“l didn’t murder nobody, I didn’t do anything to be here!” she wailed. She also repeatedly screamed “Jesus!” before the judge called a brief recess.

According to 680 NEWS reporter Momin Qureshi, who was in court, Biddersingh was mumbling and smiling as she was led away in handcuffs to begin serving her life sentence.


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