Duncan Sinclair persecuted and stabbed his mother to death 11 times in food court, where she worked in Toronto’s underground PATH system two and a half years ago, a jury was told Tuesday at the start of his first-degree murder case.
On April 10, 2019, Sinclair, then 19, made two calls to two Fast Fresh Foods locations in an attempt to find out where his mother Rae Cara Carrington worked, Crown Attorney Pam Santora said as she made her opening statement.
The mother of eight worked at the restaurant’s location in downtown PATH, “to try to get her life back on track after a complicated separation from her husband,” Santora said. Wearing black glasses, his thick black hair cut short, Sinclair listened to the prosecutor as he sat next to his lawyer, Joelle Klein.
One of seven video surveillance cameras captured Sinclair walking back and forth of the restaurant shortly before noon.
Sinclair found his mother in the kitchen preparation area, spoke to her, and then pulled out a large purple knife that he had with him, Santora said. He then chased his mother and stabbed her 10 times. When she fell to the floor, he appeared to be leaving the area before returning “for one last blow just to be safe,” the Crown’s lawyer said.
The deadly meeting lasted only nine minutes. The 51-year-old woman was pronounced dead at the scene at 19.17. She died of 11 separate stab wounds that broke three of her ribs, punctured her liver, kidney, both lungs and heart.
Four witnesses who watched surveillance video, including Sinclair’s former employer and two of his siblings, will identify him as the killer, the jury heard. While the prosecution does not need to establish a motive, Santora told jurors that the Crown will “provide evidence to help you understand why a son wants to kill his mother.”
At the time of her death, Sinclair’s father, Paul Sinclair, was in police custody on charges of domestic and child abuse for more than 30 years – abuse against Carrington and the couple’s eight children. Duncan Sinclair was their fourth son.
According to Santora, “the children were isolated, did not go to school or interacted with society in any of the normal ways of childhood. They did not receive regular medical care and were taught to distrust the authorities.” They also moved 26 times. While Carrington worked to support the family, her husband stayed at home “and his control of the household was unshakable.”
Paul Sinclair was convicted of 12 offenses related to child abuse on March 18, 2020, the jury heard.
But Duncan Sinclair and one of his brothers painted a different picture of their home life for police. Juries will hear a statement in which they will hear what Sinclair thought of his mother, along with “the idealized view he had of his father and the lengths he was willing to go to” to prevent her from regaining custody of his three youngest boys, Santora said.
Duncan Sinclair fled the scene and was arrested at a YMCA in Midland, Ont. two days later, after an employee noticed he googled a murder in Toronto and contacted police, she said. Blood on the jeans contained his mother’s DNA profile. And while the murder weapon was never found, a colorful set of knives in his home was missing a large purple knife, the Crown attorney said.
The trial at Toronto’s Supreme Court before Judge Anne Molloy continues on Wednesday.
Downtown Toronto’s underground PATH network was also where Rosemarie Junor was stabbed to death at a Shoppers Drug Mart in December 2015. Rohinie Bisesar was found not criminally responsible for Junor’s murder.