The man accused of murdering two of his neighbours in a West End apartment building in 2017 spent days on the stand at his murder trial testifying in his defence this week.
Leonard Landrick, 75, has pleaded not guilty to two counts of second-degree murder in the stabbing deaths of Sandra McInnes, 57, and Neil Croker, 51. The pair’s bodies were found in an apartment at the Ocean Towers complex on Morton Avenue on the evening of July 9, 2017.
Landrick was arrested the day the bodies were discovered, then released pending further investigation. He was re-arrested and charged more than a week later.
Landrick, McInnes and Croker all lived in the building at the time of the murders. McInnes had lived in the building for years and served on the co-op board, while Croker was the building’s caretaker.
Crown has argued their case rests on DNA evidence found on a shirt worn by Landrick.
On Thursday, video surveillance from the lobby of the Ocean Towers was played to the court that appears to show Landrick leaving the building on the day of the murders.
Crown argues the shirt he’s wearing in that section of the video is the same one found in a garbage bin with McInnes and Croker’s DNA on it.
Hours later, Landrick is seen returning to the complex — no longer wearing the shirt.
In three days of lengthy, meandering testimony, Landrick claimed he had been out for a walk in the early hours of the morning, when he tripped and fell.
He told the court that’s why he disposed of his shirt and shoes, which were also found in a garbage bin by police investigators.
During his testimony, Landrick alleged he had his drink spiked by McInnis and Croker several weeks before the murders, and that Croker sexually assaulted him.
Crown argues that the allegations, which have not been proven, were Landrick’s motive for stabbing the two victims.
Susan MacDonald, who was president of the complex’s co-op board at the time of the killings and discovered McInnis’ body in her apartment, said Friday she had heard the same story from Landrick for weeks leading up to the murders.
“About two weeks before the murders, Len would spout off to anybody what Sandy and Neil had done to him,” she said. “He said they had this ring going of porno and they had drugged him and raped him and had videoed it and were going to put it onto a website.
“He told everybody that story, and everybody, I think, in our building knew that something was very wrong.”
MacDonald went on to say the residents are collectively fearful that Landrick, who still owns his apartment, will move back in if he’s not convicted.
MacDonald also testified during the trial this week, telling the court he called police upon discovering McInnis’ body and led officers to Croker’s apartment, where his body was found.
She told the court she knew “right away” that Landrick was involved, citing his allegations against McInnis and Croker.
Landrick will return to the stand when the trial resumes Tuesday, and is expected to stay there well into next week.
— With files from Paula Baker and Rumina Daya