Canadian will get life sentence for killing six in Quebec mosque capturing

Alexandre Bissonnette

A Canadian man who gunned down six members of a Quebec City mosque in 2017 was sentenced to life in prison on Friday, although he will be eligible for parole after 40 years.

Alexandre Bissonnette, 29, pleaded guilty last March to six counts of first-degree murder and six of attempted murder.

The Crown had recommended that his six life sentences be served consecutively, which would have totalled 150 years.

Huot concluded that consecutive sentences were "unreasonable" and that sending a criminal to die in prison would go against Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms, according to the report.

One of the man's victim who was paralyzed in the attack, Aymen Derbali, said that numerous survivors were not pleased with the judge's sentencing.

Huot said a sentence of 50 years or more would constitute cruel and unusual punishment.

Alexandre Bissonnette, a suspect in a shooting at a Quebec City mosque, arrives at the courthouse in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada, February 21, 2017.

The defence had argued Bissonnette should be eligible for parole after 25 years, but Huot said that would be too little.

In March, Bissonnette admitted to killing Khaled Belkacemi, 60, Azzedine Soufiane, 57, Abdelkrim Hassane, 41, Mamadou Tanou Barry, 42, Aboubaker Thabti, 44, and Ibrahima Barry, 39, in the January attack.

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Before the sentence was handed down, the NCCM said more work needs to be done to address Islamophobia in Canada.

This was a Reuters error as the judge was still reading his judgment.

At the start of his trial in 2017, he said he had been suicidal, "swept away by fear and by terrible despair", and deeply regretted his "unforgivable" actions.

A 2011 legal change allows Canadian judges to hand down consecutive sentences in the case of multiple murders.

Silver agreed that the Bissonnette sentencing is also likely to be appealed, and she believes that's a good thing.

He called the shooting attack premeditated, gratuitous and insidious.

Prosecutor Thomas Jacques had argued that a 150-year sentence would be proportionate to the "carnage" inflicted on the city's Muslim community and the trauma suffered by the rest of the country.

Six men were killed and five were seriously injured, one of whom is now quadriplegic.

But Bissonnette's lawyer, Charles-Olivier Gosselin, portrayed his client as an anxious and fragile man who deeply regrets his actions and is not beyond rehabilitation.

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