Father of slain B.C. woman Tori Dunn pleads for change after violent offender charged | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Father of slain B.C. woman Tori Dunn pleads for change after violent offender charged

A 40-year-old Ontario man with a long criminal history has been charged with second-degree murder in connection with the slaying of 30-year-old Tori Dunn earlier this month. A Surrey police department logo is seen on an officer's uniform in Surrey, B.C., on Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2022.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

SURREY, B.C. - The father of Tori Dunn says her family and friends are angry that the justice system has failed them after police announced a murder charge against a man who was released from custody weeks before her killing in Surrey, B.C., this month.

Aron Dunn said at a news conference Friday that his daughter, 30, was cut down "in the prime of her life" in a home invasion on June 16.

"Our hearts are broken and we want answers," Dunn said, speaking to reporters at a park not far from the Port Kells neighbourhood where his daughter lived.

Dunn was accompanied by his daughter's fiance, who did not want to speak, as well as BC Conservative leader John Rustad and MLA Elenore Sturko, who recently defected to Rustad's party from BC United.

Police announced earlier Friday that a 40-year-old Ontario man with a long and violent criminal history including a previous home invasion has been charged with second-degree murder in connection with the slaying of Tori Dunn at her home.

The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team said in a statement that Adam Mann was found by Surrey police while they were on their way to Dunn's home, where she was found with grave injuries.

At the time, Mann was facing an unrelated aggravated assault charge for an alleged attack in Surrey three weeks earlier and is due in court for that case on July 2.

He is expected back in court in connection to the murder charge on July 19.

Mann was once deemed an "unmanageable risk" unsuitable for community supervision, in a pre-sentencing report after he was convicted of a home invasion in Ontario more than a decade ago.

Aron Dunn said Sturko attended a vigil for his daughter, and the time since her death has been an "emotional roller coaster" for the family.

"We have moments where we all break down and cry, and then we have moments where we have to be strong and let's get the word out to change," he said.

"Although I can't do anything for Tori today, (I'm) hoping that the change brought about by this could save other families from going through what my family is going through."

He called for legislative changes to ensure a violent offender such as Mann couldn't be released on bail, giving them an opportunity to commit another act of violence.

Police said Friday that Mann remains in custody, and the investigation continued into the "tragic event" that "has shaken the entire community."

Court records in B.C., Ontario and New Brunswick show Mann has a criminal history dating back decades.

In 2009, he was sentenced to 12 years in prison for robbery and various weapons offences in connection with a home invasion, which he unsuccessfully appealed.

The Ontario Court of Appeal ruling in 2010 regarding that sentence said Mann had racked up 22 previous convictions by the age of 25, including violent offences involving firearms and robberies.

The ruling said that a pre-sentence report on Mann was "very bleak," and that he once described stabbing a female victim as "like a knife going through butter."

The report said Mann was "not suitable for community supervision, as he appears to be an unmanageable risk while in the community."

In December 2014, Mann was convicted of assault after spitting on two employees of the Atlantic Institution in Renous, New Brunswick, where he was incarcerated.

A 2015 ruling from the Court of Appeal of New Brunswick said Mann had become "upset" with the pair after a Segregation Review Board hearing, and he unsuccessfully appealed the assault conviction, representing himself in court as he was "well acquainted with the criminal justice system."

Online court records in B.C. show Mann also has a long criminal history in the province.

In 2021, he was found guilty of publication of an intimate image without consent, an offence that occurred in Abbotsford.

In March this year, Mann was found guilty of possessing a weapon for dangerous purpose, and wilfully resisting or obstructing a peace office. He was then found guilty of breaching a probation order on June 5.

Court records show Mann is due in Surrey Provincial Court on July 2 in relation to an alleged aggravated assault that occurred in Surrey on May 26 this year.

Premier David Eby said at an unrelated news conference on Monday that the situation involving Mann -- whose name hadn't been released publicly then -- raised many questions because he was facing criminal charges and Crown prosecutors had urged a judge not to release him back into the community.

"And the judge made the decision to release this person back into the community where he's alleged to have committed another horrific crime," Eby said.

"In this situation, the judge is applying the federal criminal law, and obviously there were some issues that prevented the judge from making the decision to hold that person in jail while he waited for sentencing on the original crime. Now he's back in jail where he should have been, and the family is right to ask those questions. I'm asking those questions."

A statement from B.C. Attorney General Niki Sharma on Friday said prosecutors had asked that Mann be held in custody.

Sharma said the government "will be looking at what happened here and advocating to Ottawa to ensure the federal Criminal Code is responsive to public safety needs."

Aron Dunn concluded his remarks thanking investigators who worked on the case, and the community for it's "unwavering support," ending with a plea to remember his daughter.

"Please don't forget Tori," he said. "Help us get the answers we are looking for. Help us to hold our justice system to account. Help us to make the changes we need, so that this doesn't happen again. Tori deserves nothing less."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 28, 2024.

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version misspelled the first name of Aron Dunn.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2024
The Canadian Press

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