Killer’s parole eligibility raised to 11 years from 10


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Parole eligibility has been increased for a Winnipeg man found guilty of a deadly stabbing outside of Portage Place.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 07/04/2015 (2797 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Parole eligibility has been increased for a Winnipeg man found guilty of a deadly stabbing outside of Portage Place.

Ramsey Swain, 28, was convicted of second-degree murder last year following just a few hours of jury deliberations. He returned to court Tuesday for sentencing, where he faced an automatic life term with no parole eligibility for at least 10 years.

Crown attorney Brent Davidson asked for it to be raised to 16 years to reflect the brutal nature of the crime.

SUPPLIED PHOTO Abdul Rahim Mah Jemei was walking downtown when he was fatally stabbed.

“This was a tragic killing done to a defenceless, innocent young man who never stood a chance and was just starting his life in Canada,” said Davidson.

But Queen’s Bench Justice Herbert Rempel saw fit to only increase parole eligibility to 11 years. Swain had asked for it to remain at the mandatory minimum of 10. Parole eligibility is no guarantee of release, but rather when an offender can begin to apply.

Swain didn’t deny he plunged a knife into the 19-year-old victim, Abdul Jemei, in April 2011. But he claimed he was too intoxicated at the time to form the necessary intent needed to prove the charge. He was seeking a conviction for the lesser offence of manslaughter.

Jurors rejected that bid.

Victim was youth leader; kidney donated to sister

Jemei was killed after he and friends got into a verbal dispute with Swain and his friends which quickly turned violent. The stabbing happened on Vaughan Street near Portage Avenue, in between the downtown shopping mall and the YMCA.

A 16-year-old boy was also slashed by Swain but survived. Swain was convicted of an additional charge of assault with a weapon for that incident.

Jemei, his parents and siblings moved to Canada from Sudan in 2005. His loved ones describe him as a friendly, energetic youth who loved soccer and was extremely devoted to his family.

John Woods / Winnipeg Free Press People mourn for Abdul Jemei at a memorial service at IRCOM in 2011.

Jemei worked at a pizza restaurant to help support his family and was set to become a supervisor there just before he was killed. He was also a role model for the community’s young people, working as the youngest youth mentor at the Welcome Place for two years.

His kidney was donated to his ailing sister following his death — an act family members say may have saved her life.

Mike McIntyre

Mike McIntyre
Sports columnist

Mike McIntyre grew up wanting to be a professional wrestler. But when that dream fizzled, he put all his brawn into becoming a professional writer.


Updated on Tuesday, April 7, 2015 4:59 PM CDT: Updates with results of parole eligibility, adds photos.

Updated on Tuesday, April 7, 2015 5:05 PM CDT: Corrects reference to assault charge.

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