Family and friends of Kelowna woman Aimee Parkes were shocked Friday when her killer was sentenced to 12 years in prison, less time served.
“I feel like someone hit me,” Aimee’s uncle Ray Parkes said, outside the court. He was one among dozens who sat through the sentencing — many of whom shook their heads in disbelief or cried when the process was finally complete.
When asked if he wanted to say anything to the court or those who gathered, he declined.
The opportunity to speak was afforded to him by Supreme Court Justice Alison Beames, who ultimately approved the sentence that was recommended by both defence and Crown counsel.
“You committed an unspeakable crime that has wounded many people — I hope that includes you,” Beames said.
“You will honour Miss Parkes if you do everything in your power to rehabilitate yourself, to treat and constantly maintain your mental health and stay as far away as you can from a drug that is the source of so much tragedy in our society..”
Earlier she said she had cause to believe that Quigley was remorseful, and that the crime committed did fit the description of manslaughter, rather than second degree murder. The latter was what he had been on trial for during the previous three weeks.
“To prove murder Crown has a high burden. Crown must prove specific intent to murder,” she told the court.
While the crown may not have been able to prove intent to murder, the court did have a remarkable reckoning of what Parkes endured during the final weeks in her relationship with Quigley.
They had been together two years, and engaged for the better part of a year. At some point she realized Quigley had stopped taking the medication needed for an undisclosed mental disorder and had started bingeing on crack
To pay for it he was cashing false cheques in their account, and pawning his tools and her jewelry to pay for it.
Eventually she had enough and six weeks before she died she broke up with him, doing everything in her power to evict him from the home they shared — contacting police, the courts and even the agency from which she rented her home.
In the end, when all refused help, she realized that she could finally gain independence from him when their shared rental agreement expired and he was removed from the contract.
That was March 31, 2014. Parkes left work early that day to get the locks at their shared home changed. She knew Quigley was there packing up his property, and she wanted to make sure he didn’t take anything.
The last anyone heard from her was when she texted Quigley’s parents to say she’d be dropping off some of his things.
“Sorry, it’s not staying here,” she wrote at around 4:15 p.m.
By 6 p.m. Quigley called his parents to say that the drop-off wasn’t happening and evidence shows he had gone to a pawn shop with a Pandora bracelet that was known to be precious to Parkes. That’s likely when she was attacked.
“There was no evidence (Parkes) had called out — the attack was frenzied and (Parkes) had little or no chance to defend herself,” said Beames.
Her body was found the next morning, wrapped in a sheet, with her head placed atop a pillow. The kitchen, where the attack would have happened, had mostly been cleaned up. Doctor’s testified that it could have taken anywhere from minutes to hours for her to die.
Quigley, said Beames in summation, had spent the next two days in Parkes’ car, selling her stuff and doing crack before being arrested.