Brampton man sentenced to life in prison for wife’s murder after disturbing public attack 

Brampton man sentenced to life in prison for wife’s murder after disturbing public attack 

Content Warning: This story contains disturbing details of domestic violence that some readers may find disturbing.


The conclusion of a disturbing murder case inside a Toronto courtroom has exposed the incredible complexity in identifying the warning signs of domestic violence before a situation turns tragic. 

On March 8, 66-year-old Jarnail Randhawa of Brampton was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for 13 years after pleading guilty to second-degree murder in the killing of his wife in June 2021. The plea was part of a deal to avoid a lengthy trial for Randhawa who was initially charged with first-degree murder. 

According to court documents, Randhawa and his wife, Dalbir were married in India and moved to Canada in 2006. By all accounts the pair lived “pro-social” lives until the deadly events of June 2, 2021. Dalbir, who was 64 at the time of her death, had recently retired and Randhawa was working as a security guard. There was no evidence of violence or domestic issues between them, making the events that followed that much more shocking. 

“She went on their usual evening walk, trusting that she would be safe with her husband. He breached that trust in the worst way imaginable,” Justice Jennifer Woollcombe wrote in her Reasons for Sentence published on March 8. 

The front-porch camera of a neighbour captured some of Dalbir’s final moments as she set out on that evening walk, the last one she would ever take. Randhawa, with his hands folded behind his back, walked closely behind her. 


Jarnail and Dalbir Randhawa captured on a neighbour’s front porch camera shortly before the attack.

(Screenshot/Global News)


According to court documents, when the pair reached a footpath, he attacked her with a knife. She was found by a passersby who quickly called 911. Dalbir suffered severe head trauma and multiple stab wounds. She was pronounced dead soon after the attack. 

An autopsy report documented 35 “sharp force” injuries to her body, including her neck, head, torso and limbs. There was also a stab to her genitals. 

Shortly after, Randhawa was seen running on Highway 410, jumping into oncoming traffic. Court documents detail how he called a family member, telling her “I’m going to die, I’m going to die, I jumped into the 410.”

Randhawa caused a collision as cars attempted to avoid him, but was not struck himself. He was arrested the next morning after changing clothes at a nearby Gurdwara. 

Randhawa explained to police that he could not remember what caused him to attack his wife in such a brutal way. He said they had “an argument that evening over small matters and that a further argument ensued during their walk,” court documents note. 

“He says he does not know what happened and that he just became crazy,” Woollcombe wrote. 

Several theories were introduced in Randhawa’s defence to explain his actions and potentially act as mitigating factors for Woollcombe in her sentencing decision. His lawyers argued that Randhawa had undiagnosed and untreated mental health issues. The Crown disputed this, noting there was no psychiatric or psychological evidence to support the claim. It was also noted that Randhawa routinely returned to India, but when the COVID-19 lockdowns began in March 2020 he was forced to stop these trips. 

“As a result he felt isolated, which played a part in why he snapped,” Woollcombe wrote of the evidence provided to her. 

The disturbing murder shocked residents across Brampton and Peel due to its very public and chillingly violent nature. Incidents of intimate partner violence have been on the rise in Peel for years. The data paint a picture of widespread suffering happening behind closed doors in the region.  

Between 2015 and 2020, Peel Regional Police saw the number of domestic violence calls increase by 74 percent. According to Region of Peel data, between 2016 and 2021, there was a 3.5 percent increase in the rate of intimate partner disputes reported to Peel Regional Police.

In 2021, Peel police responded to more than 17,000 incidents of family and intimate partner violence, averaging nearly 45 disputes each day or roughly two every hour.

Of the charges that were laid for intimate partner violence related incidents in 2021, 78 percent of the victims were women. 

In 2022, PRP reported 9,242 reported occurrences of intimate partner disputes. This number includes interactions where criminal behaviour has likely occurred and others where abuse or harassment cannot be proven. 


Data show incidents of intimate partner violence in Peel have been increasing since 2022.

(The Pointer Files) 


The numbers are certainly much higher as IPV is widely recognized as an underreported crime. 

While some itragic cases like Dalbir’s appear to come out of nowhere, researchers state that is often a misconception. 

“If killing emerges, it occurs after a longer time of silent, ‘behind curtains’, abuse in which (the woman) had been dominated and controlled,” write professors Georgia Zara and Sarah Gino in their research paper Intimate Partner Violence and its Escalation Into Femicide.

The warning signs of this type of violence are often quite visible, and repeated recommendations from expert panels and inquests have detailed how to identify and prevent these tragedies from occurring. Solutions include increased investment into shelter and support programs for women looking to flee violent situations—the Region of Peel made a $2 million commitment to such projects last year. Experts have also called for stricter bail measures for men accused of domestic violence.

Typically, when someone is facing charges related to an incident of intimate partner violence, it’s at a breaking point in the couple’s relationship. These are incredibly dangerous times for women who are trying to leave an abusive situation. 

Ontario’s Domestic Violence Death Review committee has found that of the 329 cases reviewed between 2003 and 2018, 67 percent of the homicides took place while the couple had an actual or pending separation.  

Experts have also called for enhanced services with the competency to address different dynamics that can impact relationships, including religious and cultural factors. 

“Our situation as a society is only getting worse, not better,” Marlene Ham, the executive director of the Ontario Association of Interval and Transition Houses (OAITH), states in a letter sent to the Ontario government ahead of the delivery of its 2024 budget on March 26th, calling for enhanced investment into community organizations and housing supports. “Our member and ally organizations made up of shelters, transitional/supportive housing and community organizations have long held the solutions for change—we need your collaboration, your will and commitment to end all forms of gender-based violence in Ontario.”

Over 40 municipalities in Ontario have declared intimate partner violence an epidemic within their communities, including Brampton, Mississauga and the Region of Peel

The declaration is the result of a 2022 Coroner’s Inquest into the murders of three women in Renfrew County in 2015, which resulted in 86 recommendations following the three-week investigation. Declaring intimate partner violence an epidemic was one of the top recommendations.

To date, the Government of Ontario has refused to do so. 

In sentencing decisions, Justices must ensure that jail terms act as an adequate deterrent to any future crimes. In the case of Randhawa’s second-degree murder charge, the only thing to be decided was how long he would be ineligible for parole. The Criminal Code of Canada states second-degree murder automatically carries a life sentence. 

In determining the parole eligibility, Justice Woollcombe weighed the circumstances of the case, analyzing those factors that potentially call for a stricter sentence (aggravating factors) and those that suggest a looser sentence could be applied (mitigating factors). 

Along with Dalbir being Randhawa’s intimate partner, something the Criminal Code automatically stipulates is an aggravating factor in these cases, Woollcombe pointed to the disturbing nature of the attack. 

  “This was a ferocious attack with a knife that resulted in numerous stab wounds to the victim’s head, neck, torso and limbs, including after when she was on the ground,” she wrote. “After inflicting the knife wounds, Mr. Randhawa left his wife on the trail to die and to be discovered by strangers.”

But Woollcombe also considered that Rhandawa entered a guilty plea, saving family members a lengthy, traumatic trial; he has no previous criminal record and appeared to show genuine remorse for what he did.

 “This is a sad case that has ripped apart multiple generations of your family,” she told Rhandawa during his sentencing. “The pain that your children and grandchildren have faced is immeasurable. That pain, as a result of what you did, will last an exceedingly long time, perhaps always.”

The final parole eligibility was set at 13 years. 

Rhandawa, who is a permanent resident, not a Canadian citizen, will likely be deported to India upon his release. 



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