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Man gets 10 years for shooting London police officers amid standoff

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Const. Calvin Lui wasn’t sure whether he’d read his victim impact statement at the sentencing of the man who shot him and a fellow London police officer during a standoff last year.

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Const. Calvin Lui wasn’t sure whether he’d read his victim impact statement at the sentencing of the man who shot him and a fellow London police officer during a standoff last year.

Lui has life-altering injuries from the shotgun blast Adrian Campbell fired at him and Const. Ian Bedore on March 11, 2023, inside an apartment building at 621 Kipps Lane, where Joel Cameron, 41, was found stabbed to death on the eighth floor and Campbell, 43, was holed up inside his apartment.

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“I didn’t want to appear weak . . . but my better half, who stands with me today in this courtroom, suggested maybe I should,” Lui said of his wife, who attended the hearing along with more than a dozen tactical officers Thursday.

“Why should you be allowed to go through this process without hearing my side? I couldn’t care less about how little you take (from) what I have to say, but you’re going to hear it, every word. Just be thankful that’s it’s me up here and not her,” Lui said to Campbell, referring to his wife.

The former soldier who served in Afghanistan detailed the emotional and physical impact the shooting has had on him and his family. Lui has undergone many surgeries, including two skin grafts, and likely will loose sight in one eye as a result of the 70 pellets that remain lodged in his body.

“You can’t imagine the toll that takes on someone both physically and mentally, being poked at and prodded time and time again,” he said of the surgeries.

“It took a long time for my head to come out of a dark space. I was a vacant soul, numb to the very things that made life worth living for. I suppressed these negative emotions until I couldn’t. And for that, my family suffered tremendously. My daughter saw a side of me that I would not wish on anyone.”

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Campbell pleaded guilty to two counts of attempted murder – a second-degree murder charge in Cameron’s death was previously withdrawn – and was sentenced to 10 years in prison. With extra credit for the 446 days he spent in pre-trail custody, Campbell still has more than eight years to serve behind bars.

Adrian Campbell
Adrian Campbell (Facebook)

Const. Bedore also read a victim impact statement, detailing the fallout on his family and urging Ontario Court Justice Craig Sigurdson to give Campbell the maximum sentence.

“I’ve been a London police office since 2012 and since then, I’ve watched the courts become slowly, increasingly more lenient in regards to the sentencing of violent criminals like Adrian Campbell,” Bedore said. “To allow an individual to shoot police officers and receive a reduced sentence for pleading guilty puts the lives of all who wear the uniform in greater danger.”

But Sigurdson accepted the joint submission for a 10-year sentence from assistant Crown attorney Meredith Gardiner and defence lawyer Lakin Afolabi, listing Campbell’s guilty plea, history of substance abuse and mental illness, demonstration of remorse and good behavior in jail as mitigating factors.

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In his decision, Sigurdson rejected the defence’s suggestion Campbell, who was high on cocaine and methamphetamine, acted out of a momentary lapse in judgment.

“The shooting occurred after protracted negotiation with police. It was premeditated,” Sigurdson said. “Mr. Campbell readily shot at officers Lui and Bedore and he did so without any concern for the safety of those officers, nor the other officers.”

Campbell, who was shaking while listening to the victim impact statements, apologized to Lui and Bedore and their families, saying there’s no excuse for his behavior.

“I am truly sorry for what happened that day. There’s nothing more I want than to be forgiven for the horrendous actions that I committed. I hope that Const. Ian Bedore and Const. Calvin Lui find it in their hearts to forgive me one day, as well as the entire London police force,” he said.

“I am truly sorry and promise in the future I will get the help to stay clear of the things that led me down this dark path in my life.”

Lui told Campbell police never intended to hurt him and urged him to consider what his life would look like had he surrendered peacefully.

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“You wouldn’t have been behind bars for the past year. You wouldn’t be looking at two convictions of attempted murder. . . . You could have been at home, drinking all the beer you wanted, smoking all the cigarettes you wanted, looking at all the Penthouse magazines you wanted. Don’t think I don’t remember seeing those in your apartment,” Lui said.

“You chose to try to murder someone you had never met or even spoken to. You chose to alter the course of my life.”

Standoff kipps
Two members of the London police emergency response unit prepare to enter an apartment building at 621 Kipps Lane on Saturday, March 11, 2023. Two officers were later shot during a standoff. (Dale Carruthers/The London Free Press)

Campbell had requested beer and cigarettes during the standoff, according to a report released last year by the Special Investigations Unit. The watchdog cleared an officer of any wrongdoing in the arrest of Campbell, who suffered a broken forearm.

Afolabi said the 10-year sentence is appropriate given his client’s guilty plea.

“I understand that when you’ve been shot at in the line of work it’s very traumatic and it’s very difficult, but the point of having judges is that they know the law,” he said outside the courthouse.

“This is a case that could have taken up a lot of time, a lot of taxpayer resources . . . and these officers would have relived their trauma by testifying. Mr. Campbell did the right thing and took responsibility for his behavior and he ought to be credited for that.”

Devon Ferguson-Feit, 29, also was charged with second-degree murder in Joel Cameron’s death, He pleaded guilty to manslaughter and will be sentenced on Sept. 24.

dcarruthers@postmedia.com

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