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London attack: 11-year-old orphan speaks | London attack: trial of the accused

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The child's letter was read before Judge Renee Pomerance and in the presence of the murderer.

Radio-Canada

Speech synthesis, based on artificial intelligence, makes it possible to generate spoken text from written text.

“It’s when your parents disappear as you realize how much they love you. »

The 11-year-old boy who is the sole survivor of a truck-ramming attack in London, Ontario, June 2021, wrote a letter that was read at the killer's sentencing hearing Friday.

The murderer, Nathaniel Veltman, sat looking shocked Friday as the 11-year-old's statement was read aloud .

The attack makes me sad because […] without it I wouldn't have to go to the cemetery and be sad because of the death [of my family], explains the boy.

He says he misses his mother's cooking and the house he grew up in. He also pines for plans that will never come true, like being in a car with his sister after she finally gets her driver's license.

London attack: trial of the accused

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London attack: trial of the accused

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He explains how the loss of his sister, father, mother and grandmother changed his life.

In the statement read by his cousin in Ontario Superior Court on Friday, the boy explains that the attack left him with injuries in which is why he will have to learn to walk again.

The attack made me very sad because I can no longer talk to my family and create new memories with them. I won't be able to have fun with them anymore.

And also, you may think that your siblings are really annoying, and to be honest , I thought the same about Yumnah, but when they leave, you'd like to bicker with them one last time.

This statement is the culmination of two days of moving testimony from parents, friends and community members.

Radio-Canada is not naming the boy at the request of the family and out of respect for his privacy. He was not present in court on Friday. He was nine years old when his family was killed in an attack quickly condemned by political leaders as an act of anti-Muslim hatred.

Yumnah Afzaal, 15-year-old Madiha Salman, 44, her husband, Salman Afzaal, 47, and paternal grandmother Talat Afzaal, 73, were killed.

Madiha and Salman's extended family are now raising the child, trying to give him some semblance of a normal childhood, she told the court. His sister's friends also played the role of big sister as the boy grew up, it was said.

Friday , the Court also heard from organizations, notably those representing the Pakistani, Jewish and Sikh communities, who expressed their solidarity with the Afzaal family, as well as the fear that visible minorities feel today after the attack .

With information from CBC

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