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Justice Is Coming

One-day sentence in prostitute killing upheld; mom distraught 

ST. CATHARINES, Ont. (CP) — The mother of a strangulation victim says she’s lost faith in the justice system after the Ontario Court of Appeal upheld the killer’s one-day sentence.

“They failed my daughter big time,” a devastated Alice Dort said Wednesday in a telephone interview from Nova Scotia.

“I just hope and pray no other family has to go through what we went through with all of this. If it does, my heart goes out to them.”

Dort’s daughter, Stephine Beck, 29, was found face down in the snow on the side of a road in Vineland, Ont., on March 4, 2007.

Wayne Ryczak was arrested the next day after a neighbour told police she saw him load a woman’s body into his hatchback.

Ryczak pleaded guilty to manslaughter, and was sentenced last May to one day in jail, in addition to the 14 months and 10 days he had already served in custody.

Judge Stephen Glithero credited the pre-trial custody as slightly more than two-for-one, giving him a total sentence of 30 months.

It was followed by three years of probation.

The Crown had asked for a seven- to 10-year sentence, while Ryczak’s lawyer, Geoffrey Hadfield, had requested a conditional sentence of two years less a day.

The Crown’s appeal of Ryczak’s sentence was dismissed in a 10-page decision released Wednesday by Ontario’s top court.

The court said it did not agree with the Crown that the sentence imposed was unfit or that Glithero erred in law.

Dort said if her daughter, a sex-trade worker with a drug addiction, had been anyone else, the case would have gone differently.