The notorious United Nations gangster who beat, stabbed and shot social worker Marc Rozen to death nine years ago proclaimed his innocence to the victim’s family shortly after receiving a lifetime prison sentence Thursday.

Standing in B.C. Supreme Court, Michael Newman addressed still-grieving parents Jack and Doreen Rozen and their daughter Liza to assert that the justice they’d been awaiting almost a decade was false.

“I just want the Rozen family to know my heart goes out to them and for the court to know that I did not kill Marc,” Newman said.

Justice William Ehrcke delivered his sentence moments earlier, offering Newman no eligibility for parole for 25 years while denouncing his grisly crime as heinous and disturbing.

“The knife wounds to his thigh and groin area and the knife wounds to his eyes and head were particularly cruel and suggest a sadistic quality to your attack,” Ehrcke said.

Rozen was viciously murdered at his West End apartment on Jan. 5, 2004, shortly after placing a newspaper classified ad to sell an $18,000 diamond engagement ring.

Ehrcke ruled that Newman stabbed his victim more than 60 times in his Vancouver apartment, then shot Rozen execution-style in the head. 

The ring was never recovered after his death.

Before sentencing, the Crown read emotional victim impact statements from Rozen’s parents and sister. The deceased’s mother wrote that she has suffered with mental images of her son’s murder every single day since he died.

“I failed my son. I could not shelter him from a brutal death,” she said.

Father Jack Rozen described how the loss of his son was the most emotionally devastating moment of his life, surpassing the trauma he felt as a Holocaust survivor in Nazi Germany.

Speaking to reporters outside the courthouse, Rozen said his family has found some measure of peace in the years since their son was stolen from them.

“I know that Marc, my son, would not have wanted us to spend the rest of our lives being angry,” he said. “We thank God for the fact that we had a son for 38 years, and that’s what I think is going to carry us for the rest of our lives.”

Prior to his murder, the victim had cast aside a promising career as a lawyer to focus his energy on helping at-risk youth.

His father spoke proudly about his son’s life choice, noting the impact he had on almost all who knew him.

“He loved people and he was there to help. Money meant nothing to him. He was not materialistic,” Rozen said. “He would literally give you the shirt off his back and I’ve seen it be done.”

The murder case gained international attention after Rozen’s parents enlisted the help of the America’s Most Wanted TV show to solicit new tips in 2007.

Two years later, evidence surfaced that led to Newman being charged.

With a report from CTV British Columbia’s Scott Roberts