Convicted triple murderer Ian Bush has been sentenced to 25 years in jail for the attempted murder of a 101-year-old war veteran.

It’s an unusual sentence for attempted murder but the judge said it was clear that Bush intended his victim Ernest Coté to die that day. 

Justice Robert Beaudoin painted Ernest Coté as a hero today for his service in the war, for his service in the government and especially for his service in helping to nab a pathological killer before he could kill again.

There is no doubt in Justice Robert Beaudoin's mind that Ian Bush was intent on murder on December 18th, 2014.  When his intended target wasn't home, he chose 101-year- old Ernest Coté.

But he clearly underestimated the intellectual prowess of this World War 2 vet and proud public servant.   That would prove to be Bush's downfall.

 “That was my dad,” said daughter Denyse Coté outside court today, “My dad was 101, he had a walker but his head was all there.”

All there and more. Despite being left for dead with a plastic bag taped tightly around his head, Coté managed to wiggle free and snip a hole in the bag, all the while preserving evidence on that duct tape.

“I would have smothered because he covered my face with a bag,” he told the 9-1-1 dispatcher.

“Every police officer involved in this case, every Crown had the same feeling,” said Crown Attorney James Cavanagh, “that we were dealing with a person of almost unbelievable presence of mind and calmness to extricate himself from the position that Bush had left him in.”

The evidence on that duct tape would play a key role in linking Ian Bush to the 2007 triple murders of Alban Garon, his wife Raymonde and their neighbour Marie-Claire Beniskos, who had been hog-tied and smothered with plastic bags over their heads. Police would also uncover a "hit" list of other intended targets. 

“He sought revenge on public figures for all the perceived wrongs he believed society had caused him,” Justice Robert Beaudoin told court, in delivering his sentence, “and he was going to use his victims to send a message."

“I couldn't imagine going through that in the way he did,” said Detective Jen McLinton, the police lead investigator on the case, “It was a true testament to his heroism.”

His daughters say Ernest Cote would have shrugged off that "hero" title.  With his military and legal training, he was simply doing his civic duty.

“Of course, he did something that was heroic,” says Denyse Coté, “but he saved his own life and he did what had to be done.  That's how he considered it.”

Ernest Coté died just months after he was attacked, long before, sadly, he got to see this day.

“I think he would be happy,” says his daughter, “He would be happy justice was done.”

Ian Bush will serve 25 years for the triple murders and a concurrent 25 years for trying to kill Ernest Cote. 

Once again, Bush had nothing to say as he was led away to begin his sentence.