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Sentencing hearing in manslaughter death of university student


A packed London courtroom heard heart-wrenching victim impact statements from the family of a Western University student who died just days after arriving in London for his studies.

Gabriel Neil was just 18 years old and an aspiring medical student when his life ended abruptly with a single punch.

Through tears, Neil’s mother Donna told the court how devastating it is to lose her only child, “I have been robbed of the most important role of my life, to be his mother.”

She continued, “No parent imagines a life without their child.”

On Sept. 11, 2021, after a night of partying, Neil got into a verbal altercation that turned physical near the intersection of Sarnia and Western Roads with Aliyan Ahmed.

In October, the 21-year-old Ahmed pleaded guilty to manslaughter in connection with Neil’s death.

In his victim impact statement, Neil’s father Justin was fighting through tears when he said, “I do know Gabriel did not deserve to die, I miss him. How can I be happy when my son is dead?”

During the sentencing hearing, the defence argued that Ahmed, who is now a Wilfrid Laurier University student, should be given a conditional sentence with three years probation.

However, the Crown requested that he serve three to five years in prison.

When he got the chance, Ahmed apologized to the Neil family, telling them he wished he walked away from the altercation, “I should have left the situation immediately.”

A date for his sentencing will be selected on Feb. 21. Top Stories

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