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Court denies appeal of life sentence for killer of teen girl Stefanie Rengel

Ontario's highest court has dismissed an appeal of sentence in the case of a young man who stabbed a 14-year-old girl to death in exchange for sex.

David Bagshaw pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 10 years for the stabbing death of Stefanie Rengel.

It is the maximum penalty for a 17-year-old offender being sentenced as an adult.

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Mr. Bagshaw appealed the sentence, arguing the maximum youth sentence of 10 years, in addition to his 21 months spent in pretrial custody, was more appropriate.

Today the Ontario Court of Appeal dismissed the case.

Mr. Bagshaw was just four days shy of his 18th birthday when he lured Ms. Rengel out of her Toronto home on New Year's Day 2008, stabbed her six times with an eight-inch kitchen knife and left her to die in a snowbank.

Melissa Todorovic, his 15-year-old girlfriend at the time, was sentenced as an adult to life with no chance of parole for seven years - the maximum adult sentence for someone her age.

In documents filed with the Appeal Court, the Crown argued the gravity of the crime and the need to protect the public from Mr. Bagshaw meant only an adult sentence can hold him accountable.

Psychiatrists have reported Mr. Bagshaw is at a substantial risk to violently reoffend. He has a long history of anger issues, anti-social behaviour and aggression that continued even during his incarceration, the Crown said.

If Mr. Bagshaw had waited four days to kill Ms. Rengel he would have, as an adult, automatically been sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years.

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Superior Court Justice Ian Nordheimer erred in granting Mr. Bagshaw credit for time served, his lawyer, Delmar Doucette, argued in material filed with the court.

The judge was not obliged to do so, Mr. Doucette said.

If credit is granted it reduces the amount of time that can be served under a youth sentence, Mr. Doucette said, therefore leaving less time in which to become rehabilitated and necessitating an adult sentence.

Judge Nordheimer found that Mr. Bagshaw and Ms. Todorovic had a sexual relationship "marked by mutual obsession and jealousy" that culminated in Mr. Bagshaw killing Ms. Rengel after months of pressure from Ms. Todorovic, who mistakenly saw Ms. Rengel as her rival.

Ms. Todorovic had been "hounding and manipulating" Mr. Bagshaw to kill Ms. Rengel for months, threatening to withhold sex, end the relationship, have sex with another boy that Mr. Bagshaw knew or kill herself unless he went through with it, the court heard.

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