Antiguan and Barbudan tattoo artist, Damien Allred, has received a life sentence from a Canadian court after he was convicted of the second-degree murder of his elderly neighbour in 2020.
A jury found him guilty of the crime in November, 2022.
The 43-year-old was emotionless last Wednesday when he was sentenced to prison for the gruesome murder by Superior Court Justice Suhail Akhtar in Toronto.
Allred will be eligible for parole after serving 17 years of his sentence.
Damien Allred was arrested and charged shortly after investigators ended their probe into the death of 75-year-old Teresa Santos, whose battered and partly decomposed body was discovered in her apartment at 24 Shaw Street.
The building superintendent entered her apartment after another resident complained of an odour that was emitting from the dwelling.
Santos was found lying on the floor in a pool of blood with a pillow on her face and a shoeprint on the pillow.
According to Global News in Toronto, Santos, who lived a few doors away from Allred’s residence on the 8th floor of an apartment complex, was savagely beaten. She sustained facial injuries, broken teeth and broken ribs from being stomped in the chest during the attack.
A CT scan carried out following her death revealed that a knife had been stuck through her throat.
“He put a pillow over her face and stomped on it twice and then inserted a knife into her mouth, through her skull and brain. The knife buried so deeply, it could not be detected when she was first found,” Judge Akhtar said during sentencing.
Investigators quickly linked Allred to the crime after they found bloody shoe marks like the one discovered on the pillow in the hallway that ended at Allred’s apartment which he shared with his girlfriend and children.
His DNA was discovered under the deceased woman’s fingernails and surveillance footage showed him making trips to a dumpster where he discarded his bloodied clothes and the victim’s keys.
During sentencing, Allred, who had no prior criminal record in Canada, the trial judge highlighted his drug and alcohol abuse and bouts of depression and anxiety which he suffered and for which he was receiving treatment.
“This was an horrific attack on an elderly woman in the confines of her own home. The motive for the murder remains a mystery, however the trauma will not vanish,” Justice Akhtar said.
Santos, a mother and grandmother, lived alone at the time of her murder.