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

Historic Hat Creek finds novel way to keep part of site open

VIP shopping experience offers people private visit to site’s gift shop

Ashcroft food bank benefits from donation as demand increases

Community Futures Thompson Country provides much-needed cash donation

Cariboo ranchers, lodge operators say Indigenous land title shuts them out

Tsilhqot’in jurisdiction affects grazing, access to private property

Time for some tick talk to keep people and pets safe from pests

Pesky creatures peak in June, but are out there lurking throughout summer and fall

B.C. government eyes antlerless moose harvest increase in bid to save caribou

Antlerless moose hunts reduce predation for threatened mountain caribou, says ministry

If Trudeau won’t stand up to Trump, how will regular people: Singh

Trudeau did not directly answer a question about Trump’s actions amid protests

VIDEO: Internal investigation into aggressive arrest by Kelowna Mountie

A video allegedly shows a Kelowna Mountie striking a man several times

22 new COVID-19 test-positives, one death following days of low case counts in B.C.

Health officials urged British Columbians to ‘stand together while staying apart’

John Horgan says COVID-19 restrictions won’t be eased regionally

B.C. Liberals urge ‘tailored’ response based on infections

Feds get failing grade for lack of action plan on anniversary of MMIWG report

‘Instead of a National Action Plan, we have been left with a Lack-of-Action Plan’

As two B.C. offices see outbreaks, Dr. Henry warns tests don’t replace other measures

Physical distancing, PPE and sanitizing remain key to reduce COVID-19 spread

Greater Victoria drive-thru window smashed after man receives burger without mustard

Greater Victoria Wendy’s staff call police after man allegedly rips Plexiglas barrier off window

Murder charge upgraded in George Floyd case, 3 other cops charged

Floyd’s family and protesters have repeatedly called for criminal charges against all four officers

Young killer whale untangles itself from trap line off Nanaimo shore

DFO marine mammal rescue unit was en route as whale broke free from prawn trap line

Most Read