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Maple Batalia was an aspiring actress and model who moved with her family to Canada from India when she was six months old.Photo courtesy of 2011 Central City Model Search Semi Finalists

A combination of poor judgment, immaturity and ready access to weapons led a young man described by his lawyer as both jealous and obsessive to gun down his ex-girlfriend on a university campus, a British Columbia Supreme Court judge says.

Justice Terence Schultes sentenced Gurjinder Dhaliwal, 24, to life in prison on Monday with no chance of parole for 21 years, partly in recogniton of the "incalculable loss" he caused to those who knew Maple Batalia.

"I've heard and understood the magnitude of what the family and friends suffer," Justice Schultes told a packed New Westminster courtroom after a morning of listening to emotional victim-impact statements. "There is no remedy for their pain."

Mr. Dhaliwal pleaded guilty to second-degree murder last week, admitting to killing his 19-year-old former girlfriend in the parking lot of Simon Fraser University's Surrey campus after he saw her studying with a male classmate in September, 2011. He was originally charged with first-degree murder.

An agreed statement of facts describes how Mr. Dhaliwal became enraged and shot Ms. Batalia three times in the back before slashing her head with a knife and fleeing in a rental vehicle. Both the Crown and defence jointly recommended the 21 years of parole ineligibility.

Ms. Batalia was an aspiring actress and model who moved with her family to Canada from India when she was six months old. She dreamt of becoming a doctor and was studying health sciences at Simon Fraser University at the time of her death.

The sound of sobbing filled the courtroom as friends and family described living with the constant pain of Ms. Batalia's absence.

"She was the baby of our family but also the glue that held us together," said her father, Harikat Batalia.

"March 4th would have been her 24th birthday. I still write her a card, though I will never be able to express to her how much I love her and how much joy she brought our lives," he said. "No father should have to lose a daughter in such a gruesome way."

Sarbjit Batalia told court through an interpreter she wishes she had died in her daughter's place.

At one point, she turned to Mr. Dhaliwal, sitting motionless in the prisoner's box, and broke down, asking through tears: "Give me an answer, please. Why did you kill my daughter?"

One of Ms. Batalia's close friends said her death "was like stomping on a flower before it blooms."

Mr. Dhaliwal rose moments before his sentence was passed and apologized to Ms. Batalia's family and friends.

"I'm sorry," he said, his voice barely audible in the courtroom. "I know I did a terrible thing."

Defence lawyer Simon Buck said outside court that his client accepted what Justice Schultes had described as an unusually severe punishment because he wanted to take responsibility for his actions.

"He's not out to get the best deal possible," Mr. Buck said. "He took a good look at what he'd done and he, I think, agreed it was the right thing to do."

Roseleen Batalia choked back sobs outside court as she said her sister "can finally rest in peace knowing that she got some justice."

"We just want this to be an example in the community that no matter what you do, it does catch up to you."

Co-accused Gursimar Bedi has pleaded not guilty to charges of manslaughter and accessory to murder after the fact. His judge-alone trial was scheduled to start on Tuesday.