Canadian man gets life for killing 6 in Quebec mosque shooting

Alexandre Bissonnette

Quebec City mosque shooter sentenced to life with no parole for 40 years

A man who opened fire at a Quebec City mosque, killing six people in 2017, has been sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 40 years.

The convict identified as Alexandre Bissonnette, 29, pleaded guilty to six counts of first degree murder and six counts of attempted murder for the attack, but he will however be eligible for parole after 40 years.

The killer's "highly premeditated" attack would be "written in blood" in Canadian history as one of the country's worst tragedies, Huot said in court.

He said the sentence did not fully reflect the severity of the crimes committed.

"The US Supreme Court would not find a 150-year [term] cruel and unusual punishment", Huot said earlier in the day, but added "punishment should not be vengeance".

However, that minimum sentence of life in prison with no parole for 25 years is exactly what the defence is calling for.

The judge read out segments of his 246-page decision as a packed courtroom sat for six hours.

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Six worshippers were killed: Mamadou Tanou Barry, 42; Abdelkrim Hassane, 41; Khaled Belkacemi, 60; Aboubaker Thabti, 44; Azzeddine Soufiane, 57; and Ibrahima Barry, 39.

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

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

The longest prison sentence in Canada to date is 75 years without parole, which has been given to at least five triple killers since the law was changed in 2011 to allow consecutive sentences.

Bissonnette also told a psychiatrist that he regretted not killing more people. Six people were killed and 19 others were injured.

On the other hand, the judge said, Bissonnette had no previous criminal record, he pleaded guilty and he expressed remorse.

Following hearings a year ago, the sentence was expected to be handed down in October, but the judge delayed it to have more time to ponder his decision. Several of the survivors and the victims' families have argued for a sentence longer than 25 years, noting the heinous nature of the crime and the lasting trauma it caused for the Muslim community. He referred to numerous attacks in Europe as well as the 2014 shooting in Ottawa outside Parliament and said he "lost it" after learning Canada was preparing to take in more refugees.

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