Abbotsford Police Chief Mike Serr addresses reporters on Monday outside of B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster following the sentencing hearing for Oscar Arfmann, convicted of the first-degree murder of Const. John Davidson on Nov. 6, 2017. (Vikki Hopes/Abbotsford News)

‘My world fell apart,’ slain Abbotsford cop’s wife tells court as killer sentenced

Oscar Arfmann, guilty of killing Const. John Davidson, receives life sentence

The family of slain Abbotsford Police officer Const. John Davidson read their victim-impact statements in court on Monday morning, detailing the devastating effects that his death has had on them.

Davidson’s wife Denise and three grown children – Drew, Dina and Fay – stood together in the witness stand as they each tearfully spoke of finding out about the tragic events of Nov. 6, 2017, and the impact it has had on them since.

On that day, Davidson was shot twice from behind by Oscar Arfmann when he was the first to respond to reports of shots being fired at a business complex on Mt. Lehman Road.

Arfmann was convicted of first-degree murder in October, and will now serve a life sentence with no chance of parole for 25 years, starting from the date he was brought into custody.

At his sentencing hearing on Monday in B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster, Denise said she was at work on the day her husband was killed, and was summoned by her manager to a meeting room.

RELATED: Guilty verdict and life sentence stand for Abbotsford cop killer

There, two police officers informed her what had happened.

“Then my world fell apart. I spent the next two weeks unable to breathe properly,” she said.

Denise said, over the next while, she had to put on her clothes in stages, pausing to lie down in between.

One day when she was out for a walk, she sat down in the middle of the road because she was out of energy.

Denise said the first thought she has every morning is of her husband falling face-first to the ground.

“I can’t help but imagine the intense pain of a bullet ricocheting through his chest, desperately hoping that he didn’t remain conscious long enough to know he had been shot,” she said.

She said she returned to work within a few months to keep busy, but complete strangers would come up to her and hug her. She left after Arfmann’s face appeared on the TV in the lunchroom, and everyone turned to look at her.

Denise said the family’s grief has been compounded by the public attention brought to her husband’s death and the media coverage of Arfmann’s trial.

She said the family has been the “recipients of incredible support, but also victims of some people’s morbid fascination.”

On one of the first days of the trial, she said she ran from the courtroom and fell to the ground outside, sobbing.

“Attending the trial itself is incredibly difficult, but it is the last thing we can do for John,” she said.

Denise said she was grateful that justice has been served and that Arfmann was convicted of the crime for which he has refused to admit any guilt.

“It won’t in any way make up for John’s pointless loss of life, but any less would have been devastating.”

Davidson’s son Drew spoke of his dad’s “vibrant ferocity” for life and said he still can’t imagine life without him.

“His passion for everything he did was unmatched, and his natural sense of right and wrong was the absolute bedrock of a family.”

He said he did not disagree with descriptions of his dad as a “hero” and said his dad was a “mentor, role model, a true friend and inspiration and a prime example of what it means to be an individual.”

Daughter Dina said reminders of her dad come out of nowhere, such as when she hears a song on the radio, and this makes her feel like she has been in a “head-on collision.”

She described her dad as a “feisty, funny, adventurous, stern, moral, opinionated, charismatic, fair, logical, genuine person” and the “provider of fun on family outings.”

“Oscar Arfmann is fully responsible for taking our future away from us, and I will never forgive him for that,” Dina said.

“It is so hard to live in a world where Oscar Arfmann exists, and my dad does not.”

Daughter Fay, who was 19 when her dad died, said she is furious that he will not get to know who she will become and that he’s no longer around to hug her and tell her he’s proud.

“The impact of this killing is immeasurable. Oscar Arfmann’s actions on Nov. 6, 2017 broke our family into pieces, and those two bullets created a void that can and will never be filled,” she said.

RELATED: Judge agrees that guilty verdict should stand for Abbotsford cop killer

Victim-impact statements from Davidson’s three siblings were also read in court.

Speaking outside of the courthouse, Abbotsford Police Chief Mike Serr read a statement on behalf of the Davidson family.

“Based on the hard evidence, the judge has put Oscar Arfmann behind bars for life for murdering a wonderful husband and father. This won’t alleviate our struggles in the future, but anything less would have been unjust and an insult to John’s memory,” he read.

Serr thanked all the members of the APD and other police agencies who were involved in supporting the department throughout the investigation and trial.

“We’re a very tough, resilient and proud police department, but this will forever be with us – it’s a part of our history – and we will honour John as we move forward,” he said.


 

@VikkiHopes
vhopes@abbynews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC Supreme Court

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Const. John Davidson was killed in the line of duty on Nov. 6, 2017.

Just Posted

Go By Bike Week hits the road in Nelson

The event runs Sept. 28 to Oct. 4

Volunteers needed at Nelson soup kitchen

Our Daily Bread is struggling to find help

Community comes together to create outdoor classroom at Kootenay school

Brent Kennedy Elementary has a new learning space thanks to an inspired teacher Kalesnikoff Lumber

RDCK rescinds evacuation alert for properties near Talbott Creek fire

Cooler and wetter condition are expected to help crews fight fire in coming days

LETTER: Friends of Kootenay Lake should read the science

From Harvey Andrusak, former provincial director of fisheries

B.C. reports 96 new COVID-19 cases, one hospital outbreak

61 people in hospital as summer ends with election

BC Liberals must change gears from election cynicism, focus on the issues: UBC professors

COVID-19 response and recovery is likely to dominate platforms

B.C. could be without a new leader for multiple weeks after Election Day: officials

More than 20K mail-in voting packages were requested within a day of B.C. election being called

Vancouver Island sailor stranded in U.S. hospital after suffering massive stroke at sea

Oak Bay man was attempting to circumnavigate the world solo

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Majority needed to pass COVID-19 budget, B.C. premier says

John Horgan pushes urgent care centres in first campaign stop

Public health officials urge Canadians to limit contacts again as COVID-19 cases rise

Canada has committed $1 billion to buy at least 154 million doses of vaccines from five different companies

Vancouver Island family overwhelmed with 14 Lab puppies

Litter may be one of the biggest ever

Most Read