Tuesday 23 January 2018

Webcam murder accused will plead not guilty, says lawyer

Rob Gillies in Toronto

The man accused of killing a Chinese student, attacked in her apartment as her boyfriend watched helplessly on a webcam, will "absolutely" plead not guilty, his lawyer said yesterday.

"We want to put together a strong defence and I anticipate that on behalf of my client," said Steven Krys, who is representing 29-year-old Brian Dickson.

The body of York University student Liu Qian (23), of Beijing, was found on April 15 in her Toronto apartment a few hours after her boyfriend witnessed what appeared to be the beginning of the attack before the webcam was shut off.

Ms Liu was found naked from the waist down but there were no obvious signs of sexual assault or trauma. An autopsy on her body was inconclusive, and police say it may be weeks before the results of toxicology tests are known.

Mr Dickson lived in an apartment in the same house as Liu, a police source said.

Ms Liu was chatting with her boyfriend, Meng Xianchao, by webcam at about 1 am when a man knocked on the door.

Mr Meng reported seeing a struggle break out between the two before Ms Liu's webcam was shut off. Mr Meng contacted other friends in Toronto who in turn called police.

"I think she trusted him," Mr Meng told CTV News. "If it were someone she didn't trust she wouldn't have let him in."

Mr Dickson's case has been held over until Tuesday.

Police said the online chat was on a live streaming camera and was not recorded.

Irish Independent

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