15 years for man who shot girlfriend, buried her in shallow grave

Don and Ginette Bishop leave the London Courthouse on Thursday Oct 3, 2013 after making impact...

Don and Ginette Bishop leave the London Courthouse on Thursday Oct 3, 2013 after making impact statements during the sentencing hearing for Christopher Gale, the man convicted of murdering their daughter Jocelyn. (MORRIS LAMONT/QMI Agency)

Jane Sims, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:21 PM ET

LONDON, Ont. — After two draining trials in the brutal death and burial of Jocelyn Bishop, murderer Christopher Gale’s ho-hum demeanor struck the judge Thursday.

“I am somewhat troubled that, post-verdict, Mr. Gale has not shed one ounce of regret or sorrow — not for his own involvement, rather for the loss of his true love, his soul mate. Jocelyn Bishop,” said Superior Court Justice Andrew Goodman.

Gale, 32, showed no emotion as Goodman assessed the man who shot his girlfriend in the head, then buried her body in a shallow grave in the back of their property. He was dealt a life sentence with no chance of parole for 15 years for second-degree murder.

Goodman said what the Bishop family always believed.

“The callous and disrespectful manner in which he treated Ms. Bishop after murdering her does not demonstrate to me any love or compassion, rather it was merely a calculated and cold-blooded attempt to conceal the act of murder and secrete the body from future detection,” he said.

“Mr. Gale’s actions validate that he is a person devoid of conscience or feelings and that he only acted in his own contemptible self-interest.”

It was the closing chapter in a case that’s lingered at the London courthouse since July 2010, after Bishop’s body was discovered.

A controversial bail release and a shocking mistrial, after a juror failed to follow his oath, at times overtook the horror of the case.

Bishop’s parents, Don and Ginette, said they plan to take part in campaigns to fight domestic violence in memory of their youngest daughter.

In his testimony, Gale pointed the finger at them and, after the trial, the family saw him mouth a swear word and the phrase “I know where you live” — something Gale denied.

But the evidence didn’t reach the standard of proof needed to factor into his sentencing decision.

In a pre-sentence report, Gale said he and Bishop’s relationship was good “98% of the time” and he tried to spend all his time with her, even though she could be jealous.” He maintained that Bishop killed herself, and it never occurred to him to call the police.

Goodman considered that Gale talked about killing Bishop because he was he sick of living with her hours before he killed her, and that he used his home-made gun to shoot her while standing over her.

The range for time behind bars before parole ineligibility in a domestic violence murder is 12 to 15 years, said Goodman, who added Gale’s case called for a long sentence.

jane.sims@sunmedia.ca

Twitter: @JaneatLFPress


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