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Metro Vancouver man gets 12 years for killing sex worker, robbing poker game

RCMP officers respond to a shooting in Surrey, B.C., that left a woman fatally injured on May 4, 2021. RCMP officers respond to a shooting in Surrey, B.C., that left a woman fatally injured on May 4, 2021.

Warning: This story contains details some readers may find disturbing.

A Metro Vancouver man has been sentenced to 12 years in prison for the May 2021 shooting death of a sex worker and a March 2021 robbery at a poker game.

Ali Rafid Khudh Khudhair, who was 24 years old at the time of the offences, pleaded guilty to manslaughter, robbery and the use of an imitation firearm while committing robbery, and his sentence was handed down last week.


On the night of May 4, 2021, Khudhair exchanged text messages with a sex worker, asking if she was available and receiving the address to her townhouse in Surrey, according to a court decision posted online Wednesday.

Shortly after Khudhair arrived at her home, the woman called 911. She told the operator there is “a guy with a gun in my house,” according to a transcript provided in court, before Khudhair began speaking and the call abruptly ended.

B.C. Supreme Court Justice Heather MacNaughton concluded that Khudhair never actually intended to “engage (the woman’s) sexual services.” During the 911 call, they were both still fully clothed, and Khudhair had drawn his weapon.

“He came to the residence to rob or otherwise take advantage of her,” MacNaughton wrote.

Then the woman’s boyfriend, who was in different bedroom, “heard strange sounds and whining” coming from the other bedroom, the court heard. He went to check on her, and found Khudhair holding a gun.

The man put himself between Khudhair and the woman, and tried to push the intruder out of the bedroom. While Khudhair was backing out of the room and down the stairs, with the boyfriend trailing him and the woman not far behind, he fired a single shot.

The bullet “passed through the soft tissue of (the woman’s) right forearm, entered the right side of her chest cavity between the third and forth ribs, passed through the middle and lower lobes of the right lung and exited through the right sixth rib close to the spinal column,” according to the decision.

The woman’s boyfriend chased Khudhair down the stairs and out of the townhouse, into a cul-de-sac, and toward a park.

He yelled for someone to call the police as he ran, and two bystanders called 911.

During the chase, Khudhair threw his gun toward some bushes. The man caught up to him and wrestled him to the ground, and punched and kicked him.

Police found the gun in the bushes, which was not registered to Khudhair, who was not licenced to possess firearms. Both Khudhair and the boyfriend were arrested.

The woman was found lying in a fetal position in a pool of blood at the top of the stairs. She was semi-conscious, but not responsive.

She was taken to hospital and underwent surgery, but attempts to save her life were not successful and she died later that night.

In his victim impact statement, the woman’s boyfriend said her death was “about the darkest and most bitter experience of his life,” the court document reads. He described the woman as “passionate and full of energy and hope.”

He said he “misses the sound of her voice and the ring of her laugh,” and that he continues to light candles nightly in her memory.


Two months earlier, Khudhair committed an armed robbery, and he was sentenced for it along with the manslaughter during the same trial.

In that incident, Khudhair attended a poker game with a friend at a condo in Burnaby. The man who hosted the game had a video camera in the living room, which captured the ensuing events at and around the poker table.

Khudhair sat at the table as a spectator, and the man he attended with played. The man eventually lost all of his chips and the two went outside to smoke cigarettes.

They later returned to the table, and the friend pulled a handgun from the front of his pants. Seconds later, Khudhair did the same. The two “waved their handguns around and pointed them at the others in the room before telling them to place their mobile phones on the table and lay face-down on the floor,” according to the decision.

They all complied.

The Crown was not able to prove whether Khudhair’s firearm was real, so he was charged with using an “imitation weapon.”

“Nonetheless, the victims responded as if they believed the weapon was real,” the judge said. “Mr. Khudhair was comfortable handling the gun, and, if it were a real gun with real ammunition, there was a risk that something serious could have happened.”

Khudhair took a Rolex watch from one guest and took a fanny pack off of the host, put it on the floor and then demanded money from the host, striking him in the head twice. The host gave Khudhair around $1,500 in cash in a blue envelope from inside the fanny pack. 

Khudhair then took the host to the bedroom where he told him he was going to kill him and demanded more money, the court heard. The host opened his safe and gave Khudhair approximately $10,000 in cash. Khudhair demanded even more money and hit the host in the face with his gun.

The host then grabbed a knife and slashed Khudhair’s face, pushed him out of the bedroom and closed and locked the door.

Meanwhile, Khudhair’s friend grabbed cash from the poker table. The two then left the apartment.

In his victim impact statement, the host said the events of that night “have haunted him every day since,” and that he moved from the condo and is constantly on-guard.


Prior to these offences, Khudhair had a “limited criminal history” in Canada, which included a two-year probation for an assault and possession of a weapon, according to the decision. While in custody for the robbery and manslaughter, he also pleaded guilty to a breach of probation and driving while prohibited.

MacNaughton said there is no evidence that Khudhair suffers from mental health or substance abuse issues that would “reduce his moral blameworthiness.”

MacNaughton concluded that there was no element of chance in the case leading to the woman’s death, as Khudhair acted in a calculated manner when he attended the townhouse with a gun that he pulled out and pointed at two people with his finger on the trigger.

“The chance of someone being killed was highly foreseeable. Mr. Khudhair engaged in highly careless and reckless conduct with the gun,” she wrote.

Similarly, in the case of the robbery, the judge said the “whole situation was highly planned and deliberate.”

Both the Crown and defence agreed that Khudhair should serve a long prison sentence, but the defence did note that the fact that Khudhair grew up in a warzone and had to flee two war-torn countries should be considered, as well as the fact that he served 709 days in pre-custody during the pandemic, unable to see visitors.

Khudhair is a permanent resident of Canada born in Baghdad, Iraq. In 2010, he and his family fled to Syria after the family business was targeted by militia. Then in 2015, when he was around 18, the family came to Canada as refugees due to the Syrian civil war.

MacNaughton noted that after Khudhair completes his sentence, it is likely he would be deported to Iraq.

“The offences you committed are grave and demonstrated reckless and careless attitudes toward your victims and those around you. You engaged in extensive planning, and there is a similarity to the circumstances of all of your offences. You used a firearm, or an imitation firearm, thereby aggravating your offences, and both offences occurred in the victims’ homes,” the judge said during the sentencing.

In the end, Khadhair received a nine-year sentence for the manslaughter, and a five-year sentence for the robbery and use of an imitation firearm. The sentence was reduced to 12 years based on the totality principle.

He had already spent 709 days in pre-sentence custody, so 1,061 days were removed from the sentence, leaving nine years and 34 days. Top Stories

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