Abbotsford Police Chief Mike Serr addresses reporters on Monday outside of B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster following the sentencing hearing for Oscar Arfmann, convicted of the first-degree murder of Const. John Davidson on Nov. 6, 2017. (Vikki Hopes/Abbotsford News)

Abbotsford Police Chief Mike Serr addresses reporters on Monday outside of B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster following the sentencing hearing for Oscar Arfmann, convicted of the first-degree murder of Const. John Davidson on Nov. 6, 2017. (Vikki Hopes/Abbotsford News)

‘My world fell apart,’ slain Abbotsford cop’s wife tells court as killer sentenced

Oscar Arfmann, guilty of killing Const. John Davidson, receives life sentence

The family of slain Abbotsford Police officer Const. John Davidson read their victim-impact statements in court on Monday morning, detailing the devastating effects that his death has had on them.

Davidson’s wife Denise and three grown children – Drew, Dina and Fay – stood together in the witness stand as they each tearfully spoke of finding out about the tragic events of Nov. 6, 2017, and the impact it has had on them since.

On that day, Davidson was shot twice from behind by Oscar Arfmann when he was the first to respond to reports of shots being fired at a business complex on Mt. Lehman Road.

Arfmann was convicted of first-degree murder in October, and will now serve a life sentence with no chance of parole for 25 years, starting from the date he was brought into custody.

At his sentencing hearing on Monday in B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster, Denise said she was at work on the day her husband was killed, and was summoned by her manager to a meeting room.

RELATED: Guilty verdict and life sentence stand for Abbotsford cop killer

There, two police officers informed her what had happened.

“Then my world fell apart. I spent the next two weeks unable to breathe properly,” she said.

Denise said, over the next while, she had to put on her clothes in stages, pausing to lie down in between.

One day when she was out for a walk, she sat down in the middle of the road because she was out of energy.

Denise said the first thought she has every morning is of her husband falling face-first to the ground.

“I can’t help but imagine the intense pain of a bullet ricocheting through his chest, desperately hoping that he didn’t remain conscious long enough to know he had been shot,” she said.

She said she returned to work within a few months to keep busy, but complete strangers would come up to her and hug her. She left after Arfmann’s face appeared on the TV in the lunchroom, and everyone turned to look at her.

Denise said the family’s grief has been compounded by the public attention brought to her husband’s death and the media coverage of Arfmann’s trial.

She said the family has been the “recipients of incredible support, but also victims of some people’s morbid fascination.”

On one of the first days of the trial, she said she ran from the courtroom and fell to the ground outside, sobbing.

“Attending the trial itself is incredibly difficult, but it is the last thing we can do for John,” she said.

Denise said she was grateful that justice has been served and that Arfmann was convicted of the crime for which he has refused to admit any guilt.

“It won’t in any way make up for John’s pointless loss of life, but any less would have been devastating.”

Davidson’s son Drew spoke of his dad’s “vibrant ferocity” for life and said he still can’t imagine life without him.

“His passion for everything he did was unmatched, and his natural sense of right and wrong was the absolute bedrock of a family.”

He said he did not disagree with descriptions of his dad as a “hero” and said his dad was a “mentor, role model, a true friend and inspiration and a prime example of what it means to be an individual.”

Daughter Dina said reminders of her dad come out of nowhere, such as when she hears a song on the radio, and this makes her feel like she has been in a “head-on collision.”

She described her dad as a “feisty, funny, adventurous, stern, moral, opinionated, charismatic, fair, logical, genuine person” and the “provider of fun on family outings.”

“Oscar Arfmann is fully responsible for taking our future away from us, and I will never forgive him for that,” Dina said.

“It is so hard to live in a world where Oscar Arfmann exists, and my dad does not.”

Daughter Fay, who was 19 when her dad died, said she is furious that he will not get to know who she will become and that he’s no longer around to hug her and tell her he’s proud.

“The impact of this killing is immeasurable. Oscar Arfmann’s actions on Nov. 6, 2017 broke our family into pieces, and those two bullets created a void that can and will never be filled,” she said.

RELATED: Judge agrees that guilty verdict should stand for Abbotsford cop killer

Victim-impact statements from Davidson’s three siblings were also read in court.

Speaking outside of the courthouse, Abbotsford Police Chief Mike Serr read a statement on behalf of the Davidson family.

“Based on the hard evidence, the judge has put Oscar Arfmann behind bars for life for murdering a wonderful husband and father. This won’t alleviate our struggles in the future, but anything less would have been unjust and an insult to John’s memory,” he read.

Serr thanked all the members of the APD and other police agencies who were involved in supporting the department throughout the investigation and trial.

“We’re a very tough, resilient and proud police department, but this will forever be with us – it’s a part of our history – and we will honour John as we move forward,” he said.


 

@VikkiHopes
vhopes@abbynews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC Supreme Court

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Const. John Davidson was killed in the line of duty on Nov. 6, 2017.

Const. John Davidson was killed in the line of duty on Nov. 6, 2017.

Just Posted

A second case of COVID-19 has been confirmed at Vernon’s BX Elementary School. (Kerry Hutter photo)
Second COVID case confirmed at Vernon elementary school

Exposure at BX Elementary happened April 6 and 7

Highway 97 being converted to four lanes in April 1990. This photo taken in Lake Country. (Greater Vernon Museum and Archives Photo #14025)
HISTORY: How the old Highway 97 in Lake Country got new name

Pelmewash Parkway recognizes the First Nations history in Lake Country

Salmon Arm Silverbacks defenceman Kieran Ruscheinski (right) sticks close to Vernon Vipers forward Logan Lorenz during Salmon Arm’s 2-1 overtime win in B.C. Hockey League pod play Saturday, April 10, at Kal Tire Place. (Lisa Mazurek - Vernon Vipers Photography)
Mack attack paces Salmon Arm Silverbacks past Vernon

Sullivan Mack scores both goals, including beautiful OT winner, in Gorillas’ 2-1 BCHL pod play win over Snakes

Paddlewheel Park off Okanagan Landing Road, Vernon. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
Vernon council looks to address parking shortage at Paddlewheel Park

City staff are looking into short, medium and long-term overflow parking options

(GVMA)
WATCH: A Royal procession through Vernon, 1959

Prince Philip, who died April 9 at 99, visited Vernon on a tour of Canada in 1959

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

People walk past the Olympic rings in Whistler, B.C., Friday, May 15, 2020. Whistler which is a travel destination for tourists around the world is seeing the effects of travel bans due to COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Adults living, working in Whistler, B.C., eligible for COVID-19 vaccine on Monday

The move comes as the province deals with a rush of COVID-19 and variant cases in the community

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
UPDATE: RCMP investigating after child, 6, dies at motel in Duncan, B.C.

The BC Coroners Service is conducting its own investigation into the circumstances around the child’s death

RCMP display some of the fish seized from three suspects who pleaded guilty to violating the Fisheries Act in 2019, in this undated handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - RCMP
3 banned from fishing, holding licences after overfishing violations near Vancouver Island

Mounties seized the group’s 30-foot fishing vessel and all equipment on board at the time

Flight with COVID
Another Kelowna flight with COVID-19 exposure

Westjet flight on April 5 from Kelowna to Edmonton

B.C. Premier John Horgan responds to questions during a postelection news conference in Vancouver, on Sunday, October 25, 2020. British Columbia’s opposition Liberals and Greens acknowledge the COVID-19 pandemic has presented huge challenges for Horgan’s government, but they say Monday’s throne speech must outline a coherent plan for the province’s economic, health, social and environmental future. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Horgan’s NDP to bring in throne speech in B.C., Opposition wants coherent plan

Farnworth said the budget will include details of government investment in communities and infrastructure

FILE - An arena worker removes the net from the ice after the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames NHL hockey game was postponed due to a positive COVID-19 test result, in Vancouver, British Columbia, in this Wednesday, March 31, 2021, file photo. As vaccinations ramp up past a pace of 3 million a day in the U.S, the NHL is in a tougher spot than the other three major North American professional sports leagues because seven of 31 teams are based on Canada. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP, File)
Vancouver Canucks scheduled to practice Sunday, resume games April 16 after COVID outbreak

Canucks outbreak delayed the team’s season by eight games

Most Read