US & Canada

Toronto webcam murder suspect Brian Dickson in court

Qian Liu Image copyright AP
Image caption Qian Liu was found dead in her apartment in Toronto in 2011

A Toronto man accused of killing a Chinese student whose last moments were witnessed via webcam by her boyfriend has offered to admit manslaughter.

Brian Dickson, 32, denied a charge of first-degree murder in the killing of Qian Liu, 23, from China.

But prosecutors rejected his offer to admit a lesser charge.

The accused lived in the same building where Ms Liu was found dead on 15 April 2011, hours after an intruder interrupted her web chat.

Justice Anne Molloy told jurors in the Toronto courtroom on Friday that the prosecution intends to prove the suspect guilty of the more serious charge of first-degree murder.

Ms Liu - who had attended Beijing City University before moving to Toronto to study English - and her boyfriend were chatting when a man knocked on the door asking to use her mobile phone.

She let him into her basement flat and a struggle ensued for several minutes while the boyfriend watched helplessly.

The web chat was shut down, and Ms Liu's laptop and webcam were taken from the flat.

Ms Liu was found dead the next morning.

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