Crown seeks life sentence for July 2015 letter bombs after Guido Amsel found guilty of attempted murder

A sentencing hearing got underway Wednesday for convicted letter bomber Guido Amsel.

Prosecutor Chris Vanderhooft told court the Crown is seeking a life sentence for the July 3,4 and 5 2015 bombings, and a 15-year sentence for the attempted murder of Amsel’s ex-wife Iris Amsel in 2013. 

Vanderhooft also told court since Amsel’s conviction he has not shown remorse for his actions, and cited two letters sent in September to Manitoba justice officials from Amsel saying he believes evidence was planted and continues to blame defence lawyers and the Crown for his case’s outcome.

“This type of denial and believing in conspiracies is deeply troubling,” he said.

“Obviously Amsel has no acceptance of what he’s done …. rehabilitation is doubtful.”

In May, Judge Tracey Lord found the then 52-year-old guilty of attempted murder against his ex-wife and two lawyers who he sent letter bombs to.

One of the lawyers, Maria Mitousis lost her right hand in a July 2015 explosion at her office and was present at the hearing Wednesday.

Mitousis had represented Amsel’s former wife, Iris Amsel, who had been in a financial dispute with the now-convicted letter bomber. Two other explosives were found at the time, but they did not go off and were later safely detonated by police.

Guido Amsel was also found guilty of attempted murder in a December 2013 incident involving Iris Amsel, in which a device detonated outside her home, but not guilty of attempted murder as charged in connection with Iris Amsel’s boyfriend, who was also at the house at the time.

Defence lawyer Andrew Synyshyn told court Amsel maintains his innocence and said a sentence of 20-25 years for all four counts of attempted murder in 2013 and 2015 would be appropriate.

“Everything we are aware of, he’s never been involved with the criminal justice system before. that’s an important an consideration for someone who’s never been convicted of anything of charged with anything, said Synyshyn.

Lord is scheduled to make a decision about Amsel’s sentence Nov. 22.


The emotional and physical impact of the explosion in her office is forever with lawyer Mitousis.

In her victim impact statement, she told court about her life since losing her right hand.

“Sometimes I see the scars of my damaged arm as a badge of strength and of survival; sometimes they are a permanent reminder of the cruelty that one human being can inflict on another,” Mitousis said.

She told the court if Amsel was released she would fear for her safety and the safety of others.

Mitousis said she still can’t embrace forgiveness or redemption, and finds it impossible to show him empathy.

“After this is over, I will forget him. He will disappear from my consciousness,” she said.

 With files from Canadian Press and CTV’s Josh Crabb