Sarnia Justice Building ( photo by Dave Dentinger)

Adult Sentence In Velma Thomson Murder Upheld

Ontario’s highest court has upheld a middle-aged man’s adult life sentence in the murder of his 70-year-old Petrolia neighbour when he was 15.

Christopher Ellacott, then 45, was sentenced in March 2013 to life in federal prison with no eligibility for parole for seven years, minus credit for 549 days in pre-custody.

Superior Court Justice John Desotti called the October 1983 attack on Velma Thomson “savage.” He found that Ellacott violently sexually assaulted and stabbed the frail and frightened woman to death in her Petrolia home.

The Court of Appeal upheld the adult sentence in a ruling issued Tuesday saying the punishment was reasonable and noting that there was no sense of what motivated the attack.

The case had gone cold until DNA evidence led to Ellacott’s arrest 25 years later, in June of 2008 in Owen Sound.

Incredibly, an identification officer carrying a crime scene print for years, got a hit on a random check at a fingerprinting convention.

Ellacott’s fingerprints had still been on file for a minor offence while at college.