Man convicted of rape and murder of Chinese student as boyfriend watched on webcam

Qian Liu was found dead a few hours after her former boyfriend in China watched via webcam as she tried to fend off her attacker

A Canadian man accused of raping and killing a Chinese student in her Toronto apartment as her horrified boyfriend watched via webcam from China, has been found guilty of first-degree murder.

Brian Dickson, 32, had offered to plead guilty to the manslaughter of 23-year-old Qian Liu in April 2011, but the prosecution rejected the lesser charge.

The jury deliberated for four hours before finding Dickson guilty of first degree murder. He showed no emotion as he was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 25-years.

Qian Liu was found dead a few hours after her former boyfriend in China watched via webcam as she tried to fend off an attacker who appeared at her door. The boyfriend told police he saw Liu struggling with a man before her computer was shut off.

Dickson lived in an apartment in the same building as Liu, who had moved to Canada from China to study English.

Her boyfriend, Xian Meng, testified that Dickson forced his way inside the apartment while Liu was pushing at his chest and saying "no." Meng said Dickson pushed Liu down off camera and after the sound of two muffled bangs, he heard no more sounds from Liu.

After a period of silence, Meng said he heard Dickson breathing heavily, and moments later he appeared naked in front of the webcam and turned off the computer.

The jury saw video and photographs of Liu's body, lying face down next to her bed, with her nightgown and sweater pulled up to her shoulders. Blood could be seen on the floor around her face. The prosecutor said semen found on Liu's abdomen and groin area matched DNA evidence collected from Dickson.

Police said Liu's laptop computer, webcam and mobile phone were taken from the apartment the night of the attack. Police said the online chat was on a live streaming camera and was not recorded.

Dickson's lawyer, Robert Nuttall, said his client has been "absolutely remorseful for a very long time."

"He didn't say anything. He just accepted the verdict," Nuttall said.

Additional reporting by AP.

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