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Man 'didn't deserve to die,' family says as guilty verdict returned in murder case

John Dickinson’s family members sobbed in the courtroom when they heard the jury had found Mohamed Daud Omar guilty of second-degree murder in his death.
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John Dickinson (pictured) was fatally stabbed in downtown Victoria on Tuesday, March 1, 2022. A jury has convicted Mohamed Daud Omar of second-degree murder in Dickinson's death. VIA FAMILY

A man accused of fatally ­stabbing 30-year-old John Dickinson after an altercation in a downtown Victoria bar in 2022 has been found guilty of second-degree murder.

Dickinson’s family members sobbed in the courtroom when they heard the jury deliver a guilty verdict to Mohamed Daud Omar Friday afternoon in B.C. Supreme Court after a 2½ week trial in which Omar represented himself.

“We couldn’t be happier,” Dickinson’s mother, Dorraine Dickinson, said outside the Victoria Law Courts.

“Johnny didn’t deserve to die for throwing a punch, and I’ll tell you that it must have been something, because Johnny was not aggressive,” she said.

Dickinson was her miracle baby, born 18 years after his sister, following multiple miscarriages, she said.

He was a “fierce protector” who loved to dance, play pool and explore the outdoors, said his sister, Jasmine Bauer, who wore her brother’s ashes in a necklace during the trial.

“He’s been with us this whole time,” she said.

More than two years after Dickinson’s death, the family can now start to heal, Bauer said.

Omar, who called no witnesses and mounted no defence during the trial, did not appear to react to the verdict.

Standing in the prisoner’s box after he was convicted, he asked Justice Anthony Saunders about the process of appealing his conviction.

During the trial, the jury heard Dickinson was on a night out with his girlfriend on Feb. 28, 2022, when he and Omar got into an altercation in Lucky Bar on Yates Street. Witnesses in the bar saw the two having a heated conversation before Dickinson told bouncers to remove Omar. None of the witnesses could say what the dispute was about.

Outside, a witness heard Omar make a comment to the effect of: “I’m going to [expletive] this guy up.”

When Dickinson left the bar shortly after, he ran at Omar, taking a swing at him, witnesses testified. The men fell to the ground and were pulled apart, but in the short scuffle, Dickinson was stabbed in the chest and abdomen. He died before reaching the hospital.

Court heard a 911 call in which the caller identified himself as Mohamed Omar and said he stabbed someone outside a bar in self-defence because the man was trying to fight him. Police then arrested Omar at the location given by the caller.

A conviction for second-degree murder means the jury believed Crown prosecutors proved beyond a reasonable doubt Omar stabbed Dickinson and that he had the intent for murder.

Second-degree murder carries an automatic life sentence. The issue at sentencing will be how much time Omar must serve before he is eligible for parole. The jury was asked to give a recommendation. Three jurors recommended a period of 20 years before Omar is eligible for parole, while nine declined to give a recommendation.

Omar is scheduled to appear in court on July 10 to fix a date for his sentencing.

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