Family of Quinn Butt delivered emotional victim impact statements at Supreme Court in St. John’s Tuesday morning, while her father, Trent Butt, was given the mandatory 25-year sentence for first-degree murder. Butt was found guilty in March of the first-degree murder of five-year-old Quinn. Justice Donald Burrage handed down the mandatory life sentence, as well as three years for arson, to be served concurrently. “I for one do not accept your apology,” Burrage told Butt, after he read a statement to the court. Quinn Butt was found dead in her father’s home in Carbonear on April 24, 2016, almost three years to the day of Tuesday’s sentencing hearing.
In Butt’s statement to the court, he said he wanted someone to advocate for him, and Quinn was the epitome of “daddy’s girl.” Earlier Tuesday morning, his estranged wife Andrea Gosse, Quinn’s mother, delivered an emotional victim impact statement. “Does he miss her voice? Does her voice haunt him?” read Gosse. “I hope this is the last time I ever see his smug face.”
Justice Donald Burrage will take the statements into consideration, as well as submissions by the Crown and defence lawyers. Because of the first-degree murder conviction, Butt will serve a mandatory 25-year life sentence, without a chance for parole. He’s also pleaded guilty to arson for the fire at his home that coincided with his daughter’s death.
The two-week trial was an emotional one, and included testimony from Quinn’s mother Andrea Gosse — who was also Butt’s estranged wife — as well as the first responders who were on scene at the home where the girl’s body was found. When the jury delivered the guilty verdict, the courtroom erupted with emotion, including tears and gasps.