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Victim's family worries Derrick Lawlor will kill again


The family of a man, found dead in a Kitchener park more than a decade ago, fears his admitted murderer will kill again.

The body of Mark McCreadie was discovered at Victoria Park in April 2014. He had been strangled following a night where he had three-way sex with Derrick Lawlor and another man.

Lawlor was arrested shortly after and charged with McCreadie’s death. He already had a serious criminal record at that time.

“A risk to society”

Lawlor was convicted of manslaughter in 1985 for the death of Locklyn Anderson Hutchings in Newfoundland.

According to the summary of the facts in that case, on June 26, 1983, Lawlor went to police and told them: “I think I killed someone; I think I strangled him.”

Lawlor said Hutchings was his trainer and boss. The night before, he explained, they were in Victoria, Newfoundland on a work trip when Hutchings made advances towards him. He then suffocated Hutchings.

Lawlor was ultimately sentenced to four years in custody for Hutchings’ death and later pardoned.

Then, at a July 1998 court date in Brampton, Lawlor pleaded guilty to possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose and uttering a death threat.

A transcript of the judgment in that case stated that on Dec. 26, 1997, Lawlor left his home with the intention of killing his brother whom he blamed for his sexual orientation.

Lawlor also threatened to cut off his brother’s penis. He did not carry out his threats, meeting his brother and wife at a coffee shop instead, but the judge noted that based on all the submissions, it “appeared to be a careful plan.”

Derrick Lawlor in an undated photo.

The judgment also noted that court heard from a psychiatrist who gave evidence that “Mr. Lawlor is a risk to society. He diagnosed him as having an anti-social disorder and/or having a border-line personality disorder.”

The judgment did note that there was optimism for potential rehabilitation.

Lawlor was sentenced to 18 months in custody and three years’ probation in the case.

“Our family was robbed”

In McCreadie’s death, a jury found Lawlor guilty of first degree murder in October 2017, but the Supreme Court of Canada set aside that conviction in December 2023 and ordered a new trial. They cited errors in the judge’s instructions to the jury related to Lawlor’s mental health.

On June 27, 2024, Lawlor pleaded guilty to second degree murder instead. He was given a life sentence with no eligibility for parole for 14 years, dating back to when he was first arrested in April 2014.

In victim impact statements filed during the plea, McCreadie’s family members expressed their fears.

"I’m afraid if Derrick is released, he will end up harming someone in my family, or someone else’s family. I don’t wish that kind of pain on anyone,” wrote Laura McCreadie, Mark’s wife.

Mark McCreadie in an undated photo.

“I thought that you, Derrick, would be in jail for the rest of your life. But now there’s the possibility that you could get released sometime in the future,” said Tammie McCreadie, Mark’s daughter. "My fear is that you will be released one day, and will continue to harm and kill men. Or seek out revenge on those that inflicted trauma on you."

The victim impact statements also touched on McCreadie’s devotion to his family.

"Mark was my rock,” wrote Laura McCreadie. “His life may have taken a different journey than mine, but he was always there if I, or his children, needed him."

Mark McCreadie in an undated photo.

Mark McCreadie had remained close to his wife, despite the two being separated.

Laura described how they planned to sit together in rocking chairs later in their lives.

“But that will never happen now, and I sit and sadly rock alone,” Laura wrote.

Tammie McCreadie, meanwhile, remembers her father as beautiful and smart.

"He was a very funny person and could get you to laugh so hard. He laughed so hard he would get tears in his eyes,” she recalled in her statement. “Mark had a big caring heart and he was always there for his family and friends no matter what.”

Tammie wrote that while her father is present with them in spirit, nothing will replace his physical presence.

“Our family was robbed of precious time together.” Top Stories

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