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Reaction to Foerster sentence

Speaking to the media for perhaps the last time, Marie Van Diest showed no sympathy as Stephen Foerster was sentenced for his part in covering up his son’s killing.

“They say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree and in this case I think it’s definitely true,” Marie said, while outside the Kelowna Courthouse on Wednesday.

“I think they’re both cowards, they’re both deviants and neither one have a place in society. And I’m glad Stephen will be out of society for a while, but it makes me shudder to think that he will be released one day soon.”

Stephen Foerster was sentenced to three years in prison after pleading guilty to being an accessory to murder after the fact.

He admitted lying to police about his son’s whereabouts for five months after Matthew killed Taylor Van Diest on Halloween night in 2011. Matthew Foerster was found guilty of first-degree murder last month and sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole for 25 years.

Stephen also acknowledged facilitating a fake ID for Matthew and coaching him on how to avoid detection as he escaped BC and hid out in Ontario until his arrest in Collingwood on April 4, 2012.

“I think that if it were me, if I knew my child had done something that horrific, that heinous, I couldn’t live with myself knowing they were out there loose and a ticking time bomb,” Marie Van Diest said.

“I couldn’t do that as a parent. It would be hard, but I think that’s your overall duty – tough love at its best.”

The court heard that Stephen had a prior criminal history dating back to 1969 including drug charges, auto theft, and escape from custody while in his late teen years.

A joint submission ensured Stephen would only receive a three-year sentence. Justice Peter Rogers had told the court that if left to his own devices, he would have levied a harsher penalty.

“I was hoping it would be closer to five years, but I guess considering case law, three years is in the range of what he could expect,” said Marie.

“I was really just bouncing up and down inside when I heard him say that and it put a little spark of hope in me, but it was soon dashed. But he will be doing federal time, so that’s a relief; it’s better than no time.”

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