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Victim’s family fears Derrick Lawlor will kill again

Victim’s family fears Derrick Lawlor will kill again
Victim’s family fears Derrick Lawlor will kill again

The family of a man found dead in a Kitchener park more than a decade ago fears his killer will kill again.

The body of Mark McCreadie was found in Victoria Park in April 2014. He had been strangled after a night of having a threesome with Derrick Lawlor and another man.

Lawlor was arrested shortly afterward and charged with McCreadie’s death. He already had a serious criminal record.

“A risk to society”

Lawlor was convicted of manslaughter in 1985 for the death of Locklyn Anderson Hutchings in Newfoundland.

According to the summary of facts in that case, Lawlor went to police on June 26, 1983, and told them, “I think I killed someone; I think I strangled him.”

Lawlor said Hutchings was his trainer and boss. The night before, he explained, they were in Victoria, Newfoundland on a work trip when Hutchings made advances toward him. He then strangled Hutchings.

Lawlor was eventually sentenced to four years in prison for Hutchings’ death and was later pardoned.

In July 1998, Lawlor pleaded guilty in a Brampton court hearing to possessing a weapon for dangerous purposes and making a death threat.

A transcript of the verdict in that case revealed that Lawlor left his home on December 26, 1997, intending to kill his brother, whom he blamed for his sexual orientation.

Lawlor also threatened to cut off his brother’s penis. He did not carry out his threats and instead met his brother and wife at a coffee shop, but the judge noted that based on all the submissions, “it appeared to be a careful plan.”

Derrick Lawlor in an undated photo.

The verdict also noted that the court heard from a psychiatrist who testified that “Mr. Lawlor is a risk to society. He diagnosed him with antisocial disorder and/or borderline personality disorder.”

The ruling did note that there was optimism about possible rehabilitation.

Lawlor was sentenced to 18 months in prison and three years probation in this case.

“Our family has been robbed”

In McCreadie’s death, a jury found Lawlor guilty of first-degree murder in October 2017, but the Supreme Court of Canada overturned that conviction in December 2023 and ordered a new trial, citing errors in the judge’s instructions to the jury regarding Lawlor’s mental health.

On June 27, 2024, Lawlor pleaded guilty to second-degree murder. He was sentenced to life in prison with no parole eligibility for 14 years, starting from the time he was first arrested in April 2014.

In victim impact statements filed during the plea, McCreadie’s family members expressed their concerns.

“I fear that if Derrick is released, he will ultimately harm someone in my family or someone else’s family. I would not wish that kind of pain on anyone,” wrote Laura McCreadie, Mark’s wife.

Mark McCreadie in an undated photo.

“I thought you, Derrick, would spend the rest of your life in prison. But now there is a possibility that you could be released in the future,” said Tammie McCreadie, Mark’s daughter. “I fear that one day you will be released and continue to hurt and kill men. Or take revenge on those who traumatized you.”

Victim statements also emphasized McCreadie’s dedication to his family.

“Mark was my rock,” wrote Laura McCreadie. “His life may have taken a different path than mine, but he was always there when I, or his children, needed him.”

Mark McCreadie in an undated photo.

Mark McCreadie remained close to his wife despite their separation.

Laura described how they planned to sit in rocking chairs together later.

“But that will never happen now, and I sit there alone, sad, swinging,” Laura wrote.

Tammie McCreadie remembers her father as handsome and smart.

“He was a very funny person and could make you laugh so hard. He would laugh so hard that he would have tears in his eyes,” she recalled in her statement. “Mark had a big, caring heart and he was always there for his family and friends no matter what.”

Tammie wrote that while her father is with them in spirit, nothing can replace his physical presence.

“Our family was robbed of precious time together.”